IDC: Training up but lags behind projected pickups in other areas of IT

"A proportion of technology infrastructure has reached the end of its useful life, which will lead to upgrades."

This prediction is from a recent IDC research report titled, "Worldwide and U.S. IT Education Services."

This is great news for IT managers arguing for a boost in training budgets. What you can draw from this statement is that now is the time to invest in education so that planning for new technologies is efficient. If upgrades to critical infrastructure is looming, a well-trained staff is going to be able to tackle this challenge in a more cost-effective manner than a staff that is behind the curve.

IDC says that the projected 8% growth in the IT labor market will help fuel the training market. However, the researcher adds that the training market in the Americas will lag behind projected pickups in other segments of the IT market.

The research firm points to several areas in which IT managers will need growth in skills development, including network security, mobile computing, storage management, customer relationship management, Web services and business intelligence. IDC also says that overall experience in infrastructure upgrades is a growth opportunity.

And lest you're concerned about pricing on training, IDC predicts that buyers will be in the driver's seat. "Buyers will have the leverage to negotiate significant discounts for corporate/enterprise training purchases with vendors," says the report.

One of the avenues for training - e-learning - will continue its upward climb, according to IDC. However, IDC says to look for more blended models of learning.

The training market overall is expected to see a boost later this year and experience steady growth by 2008 to reach $10.5 billion by 2008. Ironically, the growth is expected to be underscored by training needs for equipment investments made more than a year ago.

And along with this, IDC points to custom curriculum designs as an area for training growth. "Customers view effective training as a means of achieving return on corporate investments and maintaining their competitive advantage," says the report. Companies look to trainers to integrate business line objectives with standard training.

Not surprisingly, security is projected to be a top area for training. According to IDC, spending on security and business continuity was more than $73 billion last year, and it expects that number to continue upward. It doesn't take a genius to conclude then that security training should be in step with this number as new technologies and solutions are rapidly coming into the market.

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