Shortage of skilled IT staff impacts rebound

Without adequate skills, companies in the Asia-Pacific region cannot focus on innovation critical to sustain their businesses today, says analyst.

A shortage of skilled IT professionals in the Asia-Pacific region is negatively affecting the ability of these economies to rebound as quickly from the current economic crisis, a new study revealed.

According to the findings of a survey released Tuesday by Springboard Research, technology skills with the greatest shortage in the Asia-Pacific region are those in areas such as enterprise architecture, application development and systems integration.

Ravi Shekhar Pandey, research manager at Springboard Research, explained that as IT is a business enabler and driver, companies in the region are being affected by the lack of the necessary skills.

"One of the critical things that organizations need [for them] to sustain business today is innovation. Companies cannot focus on innovation if they don't have adequate skills," Pandey told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail interview.

Businesses in the Asia-Pacific region are also finding it difficult to find IT professionals with adequate managerial skills.

"It's challenging to find staff with both IT skills and business process knowledge." Pandey said:

For job seekers, the bad news is that more than 70 percent of businesses surveyed said they were not looking to hiring IT staff in the next six to 12 months.

But for those planning to hire, most are seeking people with IT support and maintenance skills, followed by people skilled in application development and systems integration.

In terms of vendor-specific skills, more than 70 percent of companies plan to hire people with Microsoft skills, followed by SAP, Oracle and IBM-specific skills.

While Microsoft programming languages may be the most popular among developers, more than half of the IT developers surveyed thought that Java is a "must-have" language in the current business environment.

The research firm surveyed 400 IT end-users and IT companies, 400 software developers and programmers and 82 IT training and education providers from Australia, China, India, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Based in Singapore, Konrad Foo is an intern with ZDNet Asia.