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ΑLBA Graduate Business School Research - IT Skills: The Business Gain

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  • IT Skills: The Business GainMeasuring Employees Efficiencyafter e-Skills Training & Certification

    IT Skills: The Business Gain 1

  • ALBA Graduate Business School 20102

  • ContentsExecutive summary 41. Introduction 52. Previous research in the field-The European perspective 53. Research objectives 94. Research Design 11

    4.1 Users profile 124.2 Questionnaire design 14

    4.2.1 Candidates questionnaire 144.2.2 Supervisors questionnaire 154.2.3 HR managers questionnaire 154.2.4 IT managers questionnaire 16

    5. Data Analysis 175.1 Analysis of the questionnaire given to candidates

    before ECDL training and certification 175.2 Questionnaire given to candidates after ECDL training and certification 255.3 Questionnaire given to supervisors BEFORE ECDL training

    and certification 335.4 Questionnaire given to supervisors AFTER ECDL training

    and certification 365.5 Analysis of questionnaire addressed to HR managers 435.6 Analysis of the Questionnaire addressed to IT managers 50

    6. Discussion 54References 57

    ANNEXES 58Annex 1 58Annex 2 73Annex 3 90

    IT Skills: The Business Gain 3

  • Executive summary

    This survey has been carried out by the AppliedResearch & Innovation Department of ALBAGraduate Business School and it serves severalobjectives. Firstly, it aims at generating newknowledge regarding the cost of IT ignorance fororganizations in Greece. Secondly, it measures theincrease in efficiency, motivation andproductivity after e-skills training andcertification. Thirdly, it identifies main IT skillstraining strategies in Greek companies. Fourthly,it aims at shedding light to the perceptions ofHuman Resources Directors and TrainingManagers on IT skills training and certification.The findings of the survey suggest that the cost ofIT ignorance in Greek companies is considerablehigh and can be reduced if employees receivetraining and certification on IT skills. Employees

    performance on OFFICE applications can improvesignificant after a months training andcertification. Time spent by employees and theirsupervisors to solve OFFICE related difficultieswas decreased considerable too. Improvedperformance was positively reflected on theemployees and supervisor perceptionsconcerning their job satisfaction, organizationalloyalty, employability in the job market, relationswith colleagues, career opportunities within theorganization. Last but not least, the findingssuggest that although HR managers seem tooverall appreciate the positive influence that ITtraining and certification has on employeesperformance, they do not prioritize so far trainingand certification on such skills.

    ALBA Graduate Business School 20104

  • IT Skills: The Business Gain 5

    1. Introduction

    Over the last 2 years businesses in Europeexperienced (and they still do) the effects of thefinancial crisis that burst in USA in mid 2007.At a European level, the economy nowadays is inthe deepest recession since the 1930s. Europeseconomic future and more specificallyenterprises viability depends at a high level ontheir ability to become a knowledge andinnovative economy. Towards this direction theEuropean workforce should be able to activelyparticipate in the globalized labor market and todeal with the increasing demands of technologyand business requirements. For this reason, ICTskills should be of priority, not only for the ECpolicy but for the enterprises agenda as well, inorder for them to be competitive in the globaleconomy.

    What makes this survey well-timed is thegrowing demand for highly-skilled ICTpractitioners and users in EU. It is critical for thesuccess of European industries to re-skill Europesworkforce for the needs of the knowledge-basedeconomy. Both innovation and the uptake of ICTshave been given high priority in the renewedLisbon agenda that sets the EUs strategy forcreating growth and jobs in a sustainable manner.The success of the Lisbon strategy, thecompetitiveness of European industry and socialcohesion appear to be dependent on theavailability and the effective use of ICTs and theknowledge, skills, competences and inventivenessof the European workforce and citizens.

    2. Previous research in the field-The European perspective

    Several studies have been published concerningICT skills, in order to gather evidence and explorepossible actions with a view to design a coherentand consistent long-term e-skills strategy. In 2005,a report on the supply and demand of e-Skills inEurope was released, which analyzed theevidence, both qualitative and quantitative, on thesupply and demand of e-Skills in Europe over theperiod 1998-20061. A CEN Workshop Agreementwas published in 2006, covering a state-of-the-artreview of progress in ICT practitioner skillsframeworks in the EU2. In 2006, the Commissionalso established an e-Skills and e-Learning expertgroup in order to help designing a long-term e-Skills agenda.

    Furthermore, a survey3 commissioned byMicrosoft that was conducted in September andOctober 2009 in 1370 organizations in 13European Union countries showed that the recentfinancial crisis has increased the need in order tolower the gap between the e-skills and the labormarket demand. Moreover, according to the samesurvey there is a clear need to re-skill the existingworkforce within the enterprises as in five yearstime less than 10% of jobs will require no ICTskills at all. The first European e-Skills Week,taking place 1-5 March 2010, aims to raiseawareness of the growing demand for highlyskilled ICT practitioners and users within theindustry4. It promotes the idea that today morethan ever, e-skills and computer literacy are acompetitive advantage on the job market.

    1 Source: Enterprise and Industry2 Source: Enterprise and Industry3 Post Crisis: e-skills are needed to drive Europes innovation society4 eSkills Week major campaign to improve ICT skills in Europe

  • 5 Monitoring e-Skills Demand and Supply in Europe. e-Skills shortages and statistics caveats a first wrap-up of reactions6 Individuals who have never used the Internet7 Digital Literacy and ICT Skills8 Monitoring e-Skills Demand and Supply in Europe. e-Skills shortages and statistics caveats a first wrap-up of reactions9 Observatory of Information Society, 201010 Research of ICT usage among Greek households: Year 200911 Recruitment Confidence Index, http://www.alba.edu.gr/RCI/Documents/RCI_Report_2010_A.pdf

    Despite the increased demand for skilled ICTpractitioners, Europe is, at the same time, facingan e-Skills gap, a serious and increasingundersupply of ICT practitioners in the market5.As statistics show, concerted action is needed, asdigital illiteracy and the digital divide persist.7% of the EU population has no computer skillswhatsoever and more than 60% of people, noteducated beyond lower secondary level, have nobasic e-skills6. This comes as no surprise,considering that 51% of companies operating inEurope have difficulties in recruiting personnelwith ICT skills7. 70 % of personnel with requiredskills in the use of ICT applications appears to benot entirely suitable.

    Germany has only little more than half thenumber of Science/Maths/Computing graduatesthan the United Kingdom, and only two thirds ofthe figure in France8. Poland has 250 annualgraduates in this field per 1000 IT specialists inthe workforce while the Netherlands produceonly 32 per 1000.

    With regards to Greece, figures are alsodisappointing. 51% of the population has accessto a PC, 44% of them use the Internet, whileapproximately only 20% of PC users actually havea broadband connection9. Between the years 2005-2009, the average annual increase in PC users is13.6% whereas in Internet users it comes to 17.4%.It is interesting to note that 40.1% of users holdbasic education, while 25% of them have highereducation10.

    According to the Recruitment Confidence Index2010, Human Resources Managers andRecruitment Managers prefer candidates withadvanced or basic IT skills (see following graph)11.Companies prefer to recruit employees for mostof the jobs who already have some IT skills.

    ALBA Graduate Business School 20106

  • IT Skills: The Business Gain 7

    Gra

    ph1:PreferredITskillslevelperfunctionbyRecruiters

  • Eurostat figures indicate the demand to reach250,000 skilled ICT workers by 2010. The last RCIsurvey carried out by the Applied Research andInnovation department within ALBA GraduateBusiness School has showed that ICT-relatedskills are a prerequisite for recruitment12.However, only 180,000 skilled ICT workers arelikely to be available by 2010. While the economicdownturn may overwrite these trends, the long-term trend of a shortfall may threaten jobopportunities and Europes competitiveness in theglobalised world.

    While we have a lot of information regarding thee-Skills gap in Europe, there is little evidence onhow much this cost for the company at a nationaland international level. Past research carried outin Italy has measured the cost of ignorance forItalian companies and the impact of training onthe performance of individuals. In 2003 AICA,jointly with Bocconi University, carried out aresearch on the cost of digital ignorance,concerning the Italian market. It monitored thedemand on ECDL graduates (the main ICTcertifying authority in Italy) and their profile inthe public and private sector. The main outcomesof the survey regarding the cost of IT ignoranceare summarized below:

    Which assumptions have been made in order toroughly evaluate the cost of ignorance in theItalian market?

    The number of generic users, in Italy,amounts to 6.700.000. Researchers took intoaccount only generic users because theyassumed that heavy users are more skilled an d waste less time in computer problems.

    The time lost per week has been multipliedby the number of generic users 2h 5