Whether your small business is seeking to add an IT person to its internal team or it is looking to contract with an external reason, new research from technology industry association CompTIA suggests you might want to be more selective about who you hire. And, if you're not in a position to add more bodies, you might want reconsider the skills of your existing team -- internal or external.
That study, called State of the IT Skills Gap, suggests that eight out of 10 companies are feeling the strain of IT skills gaps.
"Even as the importance of technology to business success grows exponentially, few organizations are exactly where they want to be with technology utilization and staff skill levels," said Terry Erdle, executive vice president of skills certification for CompTIA, in a statement. "These gaps are hampering business success."
The data reflect the mindsets of approximately 500 IT and business managers responsible for technology at their companies.
These gaps could have an impact on the bottom line, the research suggests. CompTIA reported that 23 percent of the smaller companies surveyed reported this effect, compared with 15 percent of large and midsize companies.
Mind you, a big part of CompTIA's mission in life is to promote training and certification. So keep that in mind when you think about the motives behind this study.
Still, this is worth thinking about, especially since the sorts of technologies that small and midsize businesses need to move into the future are changing, fast and furious.
If your company's strategy is to hold the line on hiring until the economy looks a bit brighter, your IT management team might want to consider reassessing the skills sets of its technology resources -- especially with respect to security, data archiving and backup, business intelligence, mobility, virtualization and process automation. Are you covered in these areas? If not, what is your plan for making sure you are covered.
If you don't intend to hire new people -- on staff or as a consultant -- to help with these things, it could be time for some training or those gaps could eventually put a strain on your company's bottom line.