D-Link Corporation, a provider of connectivity solutions for small, medium and large enterprise business networking, has revealed it is reinforcing its partner training and certification initiatives in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).
According to the vendor, the move to bolster and expand channel partner training and education schemes is aimed at addressing the demand for skilled IT professionals in the MEA.
Sakkeer Hussain, director, Sales and Marketing, D-Link Middle East and Africa (MEA), said while the IT sector has gradually moved from a nascent to a more mature stage in the region, finding and retaining technology talent to maintain growth remains one of the key challenges in 2018.
Hussain acknowledged that there are shortages of IT skills in some areas including professionals such as business intelligence specialists, enterprise and solutions architects, applications product managers, network managers and database developers. He said there appears to be a lack of quality and a shortage of expertise in these areas.
He pointed out that as IT departments in organisations become strategic, so does the profile of team members within. "The IT transformation initiatives currently underway in the Middle East are underlining all initiatives and the concept of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) is driving skills demand and observed," he said. "To address some of the challenges that organisations face today, channel partners will have to be highly skilled and demonstrate domain expertise in the verticals they serve."
He said that is why D-Link is bolstering and expanding its training efforts to channel partners in MEA so that they can in turn start implementing the company's networking and wireless solutions competently at end user level.
"This year, given the prevailing business climate, we have decided to enhance the technical supports to channel partners as a way of helping them to navigate the difficult market conditions," he explained. "Along with this, we are strengthening our training programmes for resellers so that they can be fully equipped to implement solutions and help in alleviating the IT skills crunch currently being experienced by many organisations (big or small) in the region."
A recent survey from UAE-based recruitment specialist Robert Half shows CRM, security, mobility, analytics, data centre and project management skills to be in demand across the Middle East.
Hussain said there is need for the MEA IT industry as a whole to have a concerted programme by all stakeholders (vendors, distributors, channel partners and end users) to develop a range of technology skills across the region. "I believe that the IT industry should invest more in the local market talent and should also have a larger pool of locally present talent rather than depending heavily on skills from outside the region to execute projects," he said.
He said IT skills around cloud and its offerings like (IaaS, SaaS and PaaS), on-premise to cloud migration and management of cloud infrastructure are skills that are in demand at the moment. "Because the IT spend in the cloud space is increasing vastly compared to traditional IT, this is fuelling demand of skilled resources to manage the delivery of cloud services," he explained.
Hussain said as a way of mitigating some of the challenges that channel partners face, D-Link is working with end user customers on behalf of its partners to train and certify their staff on D-Link solution offerings.