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CompTIA Middle East Research Reveals Focus on IT Recruitment to Boost Business Competitiveness and Security


62 per cent of Middle East executives set to hire new IT staff in 2013; 85 per cent report skills deficit in regional market
Regional executives identify IT expertise as primary driver behind ‘human error’ creating the most significant threat to corporate security.

June 18, 2013 6:12 by

Businesses across the Middle East are investing in IT capabilities for the workplace in 2013 but struggling to find skilled candidates for the job, according to new research released today by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry.

According to CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption & Workforce Issues study, 62 percent of Middle East executives plan to hire IT staff this year – compared to a global average of 39 percent – but 85 percent believe they are faced with a gap in the regional skilled labour market that is described as an ‘extensive’ problem by 33 percent of respondents. In a positive regional business climate where planned IT expenditure is set to rise, findings highlight a challenge that is expected to impact today’s business competitiveness and corporate security, as well as future adoption of new technologies to support growth.

Executives are recruiting IT skills in the workplace to address critical business issues including low staff productivity (52 percent), poor customer service and engagement (36 percent), and speed to market of new products and services (34 percent). In terms of proven expertise, employers are mostly looking for:

  • Network/infrastructure experience (68 percent)
  • Helpdesk and IT support (58 percent)
  • Office IT equipment maintenance (53 percent)
  • Storage/data back up capabilities (51 percent)

Beyond these immediate operational requirements, the challenge of finding the right expertise is also creating a hurdle to progressing adoption of technologies such as cloud computing and mobility for 40 percent of executives in the region. Furthermore, it is cited as the primary driver behind human error, which is putting organisations at risk of critical security breaches via websites and enterprise applications.

“In many cases skills gaps are a natural feature of the IT industry because of the high speed of innovation, but in fast-growing markets such as the Middle East this issues is more prominent” said John McGlinchey, vice president, Europe and Middle East, CompTIA.

“Our research shows that regional business leaders appreciate the vital role of IT in business success and are ready to invest, but are often unable to identify the right quality and quantity of suitable candidates. Industry-led certifications, such as those provided by CompTIA, offer a common foundation for assessing skill sets across teams and candidates, and also ensure that capabilities built through training are aligned with demand in the market.”

Faced with a gap in skilled candidates, regional executives are increasingly looking for formal training and accreditation to identify potential IT recruits; in fact 81 percent of those surveyed expect to see the value of industry certification rising over the next two years. Once in employment, staff that have gained IT certification are generally perceived to perform at a higher level than non-certified staff by 78 percent of executives, and considered more valuable to the organization. The benefits of an individual’s foundation of industry knowledge gained through certification helps the whole team and regional investment in IT skills education is high, with 94 percent of IT staff in the region having engaged in some form of IT training in the last 12 months.

About the survey

CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption & Workforce Issues study is based on a survey of more than 1,250 business and IT executives in countries around the world, including Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Middle East. The survey was conducted online in February/March 2013.

About CompTIA

CompTIA is the voice of the world’s IT industry. To learn more, visit

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