When hiring implementation consultants, we all look for qualifications on resumes because we instinctively recognize the importance of employing highly skilled professionals with knowledge of the latest technologies.
Once hired, however, a consultant’s skills and qualifications will soon become outdated without continued and continual training. Today’s rapid pace of IT evolution, particularly in the Cloud, requires IT workers to always be at the top of their game - and companies that do not invest in IT training are increasing their business risk with each passing day.
What might be the total cost to your company? Let’s look at some of the major factors.
A study of more than 3,100 U.S. workplaces by the National Center on the Educational Quality of the Workforce (EQW) found that on average, a 10% increase in workforce education level led to an 8.6% gain in total productivity.
Because untrained employees take longer to complete tasks and solve problems and must frequently turn to colleagues and managers for advice and support, they are not only less productive themselves but they also impact the efficiency and productivity of the entire department.
This lack of productivity heavily affects the bottom line. An American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) study of more than 2,500 businesses found that those offering thorough training generated more than twice the amount of income per employee than firms that offered less. It also found that an increase in training per employee of US$ 680 created a 6% higher return for shareholders, while an investment of US$ 1,500 per employee resulted in a 24% increase in profits.
Put another way, by not offering adequate training you essentially halve your employee productivity and knock a quarter off your company profits. These impacts are likely to be much worse when we are talking about IT employees, most of whom work in critical roles.
The cost of data breaches
Are your and your customers’ data and IT infrastructure secure? A study last year showed that the global average cost of a single data breach is nearly US$ 4 million - and getting more expensive each year.
Training is critical for offsetting security risk, as not only will trained IT workers make fewer on-the-job mistakes which could lead to a potential breach, but they will also have the knowledge to proactively safeguard your business using the latest technical and methodological security solutions. Cloud training is a must, here, as most major breaches are the result of internet hacks - a trend which is likely to escalate, as evermore companies move to the Cloud and increase the number of potential targets.
How much will a data breach cost your company? Considering the resulting loss of business, customer compensation, legal fees and regulatory fines, it may take some time to calculate the fully-loaded amounts. However, with the right security and Cloud training in advance, it’s much less likely you’ll ever need to find out.
Missed opportunity costs
Business innovation is critical for driving revenue and today’s organizations depend heavily on IT departments to support business changes - if not to directly lead them - for example in the case of digital or Cloud transformations. A well-trained IT team is able not only to better prepare for and make the most of business innovations but also to come up with more, newer and better ideas themselves, because IT learning increases their awareness of the possible.
The true costs of missed business opportunities may be elusive but IT training will help ensure that they are never missed in the first place.
The ever-accumulating costs above are based on the premise that your current IT employees remain working at your company. However, the reality is that without proper training, they are highly likely to take their skills and services elsewhere - resulting in further financial losses for your and your customers’ business.
A survey of Millennials by PwC showed that an organization’s training program was its third most compelling factor, with opportunities for career progression number one. In many fields, these two go hand in hand - and in IT even more so.
The recruitment costs to replace IT employees are frequently more than a quarter of annual salaries but they go far beyond this. For example, there is the impact on morale to the remaining staff, the costs of on-boarding and also the loss of productivity while the new incumbent gets up to speed - which is likely to require additional training in any event.
In light of the ongoing IT market skills shortage, especially in the Cloud, your business may also incur further loss of revenue if it is unable to fill vacant IT roles quickly - and this will be especially true if you cannot demonstrate to candidates a solid training and development track record.
The total costs of an untrained IT workforce can be astronomical. Every day the losses accrue. Stop paying the vastly higher price - offer your IT employees high-quality training today.
To summarize: Training your consultants is good for both your business and for them.
Ensure they get high quality training via Oracle University. There are offerings across the whole product stack for our Oracle partners with various delivery formats to suit personal learning styles that offer maximum flexibility for billable staff. Don’t forget to also encourage your staff to validate their gained knowledge and skills through official Oracle specializations.
Remember: Your Oracle PartnerNetwork discount is applied to standard list prices shown on Oracle University web pages.
By Kate Farrow, Oracle