Friday, 24 June 2016

How training boosts your company's productivity

Britain’s productivity has been labelled "a national disgrace" as new figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show British workers to be 20% less productive than their G7 counterparts. This unflattering comparison doesn’t halt with G7 countries - smaller European economies such as Ireland, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands - significantly outperform Britain in terms of productivity.

These figures highlight a concerning trend which present a significant threat to the future success of the UK economy and our businesses. The signs are already beginning to appear, in early March the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revised down its economic growth estimates for each of the next five years.

A change of plan

In order to avoid an economic crisis and boost productivity to a level once again competitive with G7 nations, we must implement significant change. Commenting recently on the sorts of changes required, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady discussed the need for an improved economic plan with specific focus on increased investment in modern infrastructure and workforce skills.

Reflecting on the need for enhanced workforce skills, nowhere could this sentiment ring more true than for the UK technology sector. Despite growing faster than any other UK industry sector, growth and productivity are increasingly suffocated by a widening IT skills gap.

In the UK, it is now estimated more than 12 million people and a million small businesses lack the skills to prosper in the digital era, according to a report from charity Go ON UK. A hugely influential pathway towards recognising the full productivity potential of the tech sector, while closing the digital skills gap, lies within training your team.

Boosting productivity through training

Across the technology sector there are many research studies demonstrating how training helps boost your company's productivity. Let’s take a closer look...

Improving project success and reducing wastage

Every year the Project Management Institute (PMI) produces a study known as Pulse of the Profession, reflecting on the current state of project management. According to the 2016 study, for every £1 billion invested £122 million (12%) is wasted due to poor project performance - a 12% increase on 2015.

The study found a significant improvement in project outcomes for organisations that invest in ongoing project management training versus those that don’t. This included a 65% improvement in completing projects on time, a 52% improvement in meeting set budgets and a 30% improvement in meeting project goals. All these improvements will boost your company’s productivity. Reducing budget wastage, allowing you to complete projects faster while achieving the original project goals.

The bottom line, completing more projects allowing you to be more productive and profitable.

Accelerating application development while improving efficiency and system availability

A recent IDC study reported significant improvements in productivity for IT professionals who are both trained and certified. The study found that trained and certified professionals working in server, database and application teams were 20% more productive than non-certified professionals. Not only that, trained and certified professionals were productive members of the team up to a month faster.

The study also found a range of additional benefits which would benefit productivity. Certified professionals delivered a 15% reduction in unplanned downtime while reducing the duration of that downtime by 26%. This improved system availability, allowing the business to remain online and productive.

Focusing specifically on those within application development, the study also found certified professionals develop nearly twice as many applications per year than uncertified developers - delivering these applications on time and to budget, with improved user satisfaction.

Unleashing the potential of cloud technology

Adoption and usage of cloud computing continues to accelerate at an ever-increasing rate. Across the public and private sectors, businesses are recognising the benefits of cloud - including improved scalability, security, reliability and efficiency. Business systems which are faster, more secure and remain online combine to facilitate business productivity.

However, the industry is in the midst of a growing cloud skills gap which is preventing businesses like yours from adopting or recognising the full potential of cloud. This is reflected in the RightScale 2016 State of the Cloud Report, with businesses highlighting a lack of resource / expertise as the leading issue preventing cloud maturity. The study goes on to conclude additional training of IT and development staff as a critical pathway to overcoming this challenge.

Training your team to recognise the full potential cloud will not only boost the productivity of your business, it will free your technology team from the server room. The cloud offers disaster resistant systems which mean your server admins are no longer required to be technical hardware experts. They can now focus this energy of technology projects that can further boost the productivity of your business through automation and improved user experience.

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