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Heading into 2016, IT training budgets have still not returned to pre-recession levels, when many organizations were quick to slash their training budgets amid layoffs and capital spending cuts, and instead appear to have stabilized at a new, lower level, despite the recovery in IT operational spending.
As shown in Figure 1 from our study, Benchmarks for IT Training Budgets, since 2011 per-employee training budgets have remained flat at about $1,500, a decline from about $2,000 prior to the recession, for the composite sample. While IT operational budgets have been rising during the period, turnover rates, hiring, and capital budgets remain somewhat lackluster. All of these factors may be lowering the need for training and keeping training budgets on their flat trajectory.
Training should remain an important priority for most IT organizations. At some point, best-in-class IT organizations find it necessary to increase funding for training as they adopt new technologies, such as mobility applications, public and hybrid cloud deployment, and data analytics. There simply are not enough candidates available with these skills, making it necessary to train existing IT personnel. Moreover, a well-designed training program helps with retention, lowers turnover, provides incentives for top-tier talent, and positions the organization to exploit new technologies.
Still, there are many factors influencing the changing requirements for training, ranging from the evolving composition of the IT staff to the introduction of new cloud, infrastructure, and mobile technologies. The full study provides IT organizations with benchmarks for setting competitive IT training budgets for their organizations in the wake of these changes. We provide benchmarks by organization size and sector, and provide a range for IT spending on training per staff member and as a percentage of the IT budget.