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IT skills gap forces CIOs to get creative

It's becoming more and more difficult for CIOs to find workers well-versed in ever-changing technologies like wireless networking, cloud computing, mobile security and big data analytics.

Thus, IT managers are looking for people who have training in multiple disciplines. And if they can't find them or can't afford them, they're implementing cross-training programs for the workers they have.

According to several top IT managers at SNW here this week, CIOs are working hard to break down specialization among their staffs.

David Richter, vice president of Infrastructure Solutions at Kimberly-Clark, said he recently revamped the IT titles in his department, cutting the number of job descriptions from more than 350 to about 40.

"We definitely have a skills gap. I need a broader bench. I need people who have two or three areas of expertise," he said.
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"Part of our training and individual development plans ... are focused on training people to make them more competent in their current role, and also for their next role," Richter added.

The additional training both adds to the workers skill sets and lets CIOs better deal with constrained IT budgets by not having to hire more people with specific skills, he said.

Kimberly Clark sees problems in hiring experts in security technology. Richter noted that security is difficult because the technology is constantly changing to adapt ever-changing mobile technologies and persistent threats.

"That's a big issue for us," said Richter, who also cited difficult in finding network, database and video expertise. "We provide video conferencing for the business across the globe," he noted.

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