Friday, April 23, 2010

Certifications Lead to Greater Team Efficiency in IT

A recent Network World article highlighted results of a three-year study conducted by research firm IDC. The study surveyed more than 1100 IT managers about IT performance metrics in 26 different functions.

The results are described in a report called “Impact of Training on Network Administration: Certification Leads to Operational Productivity,” by Cushing Anderson—Program Vice President at IDC. According to Anderson, “training and certification are effective measures of how well team members can work with specific technologies, hardware, and software. . . . IDC research shows a direct relationship between higher levels of certification and improved performance.”

Below are a few key data points gathered from the IDC study about the effect of relevant certifications on IT team capability. Teams with higher concentrations of certified IT staff:
  • Have 10% more devices in full compliance with security policies on average.
  • Deploy applications and network capabilities on time and on budget about 10% more frequently
  • Have 20% less unscheduled downtime
  • Spent about 20% less on support costs for general network management
  • Spent about 30% less on external support for network security activities

If you’re an employer, these numbers may help you understand the benefits of hiring certified IT staff. While certifications may not be the bottom line reason to hire an applicant, they certainly work to strengthen a resume already solid in education and experience.

If you’re an IT student, take notice that many employers reported better team functionality from their certified IT staff. Completing relevant IT certifications in conjunction with your education will undoubtedly signal to employers that you will be an important contributor on their staff. When you’re on the search for a job to start your IT career, that is exactly what you want to show employers.

Emily Howard, TestOut

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