Asia faces IT networking manpower shortage - IDC

26 Oct 2006

By 2009, the Asia Pacific region, excluding Japan, will have 221,000 fewer people than it needs with advanced network skills in wireless technologies, security and IP telephony, up from 113,000 in 2006.

This represents 55 per cent of the total network professional shortfall, which IDC forecasts will be 396,000 in 2009, up from 210,000 in 2006.

As the network becomes more important to individuals and organizations, this skills shortage may eventually impede the region's economic development.

The IDC survey, involved more than 1,000 middle to senior management respondents from 12 countries in Asia Pacific and is intended to measure the gap between demand and supply for network technology competency.

The "gap" refers to a shortage of people with the required network skills to support business functions.

While the overall shortage of people with network skills is a concern, what is even more worrying is the gap in advanced technologies.

According to the study, in 2009, Asia Pacific will have a 20 per cent skills gap for general network skills and a larger 26 per cent gap for advanced skills in wireless technologies, security and IP telephony.

What's more telling is that by 2009, the number of Asia Pacific countries with an advanced technology skills gap of 20 per cent or higher will double from four to eight.

Considering that 47 per cent of the respondents say the network is a key platform for process sharing and that employees in 46 per cent of the surveyed companies use the network to remotely access enterprise systems, the network is clearly gaining importance as a platform for connecting a business.

The People's Republic of China and India represent the large high-growth markets, where demand for information technology (IT) network skills will be the greatest.

For example, LAN penetration in China is currently at 28 per cent, and a mere 2 per cent of the companies there constitute an additional 30,000 businesses that need network skills.

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