In-house AI training "insufficient" for supporting business goals, report claims

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Although developers are eager to unlock the benefits of AI tools in their daily work, a growing skills gap and lack of appropriate training resources may be creating hurdles, new research suggests.

Around 67% of organizations are currently planning to use AI in software development, while just under one-quarter (23%) are already using AI tools in daily practices, according to GitLab’s 2023 Global DevSecOps Report.

Respondents specifically highlighted increased productivity as a key benefit, with 51% stating that AI tools have resulted in heightened levels of efficiency. Similarly, 48% said that AI has helped deliver “faster cycle times” during the development process.

However, despite obvious benefits with regard to efficiency and developer productivity, GitLab said that human expertise in AI is now a concerning “inflection point” for businesses.

Respondents to the survey raised concerns that current AI training resources and skills capabilities could present significant challenges moving forward.

Appropriate skills and a lack of knowledge on AI were both highlighted as key obstacles to AI adoption in software development, GitLab found.

“While respondents remain optimistic about their company’s use of AI, the data indicates a discrepancy between organizations’ and practitioners’ satisfaction with AI training resources,” the firm said.

“A lack of the appropriate skill set to use AI or interpret AI output was one of the top obstacles (34%) and AI introducing a new set of skills to learn was one of the respondents’ top areas of concern (42%).”

An overwhelming majority of respondents to GitLab’s survey (81%) said they require training to successfully use AI in their daily work while 87% said organizations will be forced to re-skill employees to adapt to widespread changes that AI will bring.


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Yet despite this, training resources at many organizations were found to be lacking. Nearly three-quarters said that although their employer provides training, they are being forced to seek alternative resources to supplement in-house training.

This, GitLab said, suggests that current resources and training are “insufficient” to enable developers to fully maximize their use of AI tools.

Nearly half (49%) of respondents revealed they are utilizing books, articles, and online videos pertaining to AI tools to supplement learning.

An equal amount are also engaging with extracurricular educational courses while 47% are relying on peers or mentors to improve their understanding.

There is also a marked disparity in terms of the availability - and quality - of training resources across seniority levels, GitLab found.

C-level respondents and those with managerial titles were “significantly more likely” than non-managers to say their organization provides appropriate training and resources for using AI.

“This suggests that although organizations are making a top-down attempt to make AI resources available to employees, those resources may not be adequate, or some employees may not be aware of them,” the report said.

GitLab’s research on AI-related skills aligns closely with a study from Randstad published this week. In a survey of more than 7,000 tech workers globally, 33% said they are already using AI within their daily roles.

However, the study revealed that just 13% of respondents had been offered AI training over the last year despite a sharp increase in the number of firms worldwide adopting such tools.

Bridging the AI skills gap

Mark Onisk, chief content officer at Skillsoft, told ITPro that many businesses globally could face an uphill battle to augment their workforce skills to accommodate for the increased use of AI.

To counter this, Onisk said organizations must place a stronger emphasis on internal training regimes to upskill staff and unlock the benefits of generative AI tools. 

“Investing in reskilling and upskilling is vital to ensure everyone can benefit from AI,” he said. “By acquiring skills that complement and harness the power of AI, employees can unlock its potential for personal and professional growth.”

“To ensure this, organizations must take a stronger stance on training employees to use AI strategically and responsibly within their existing roles. They also need to ensure that the appropriate safeguards are in place to prevent misuse and human oversight before it has the chance to occur.”

Ross Kelly
News and Analysis Editor

Ross Kelly is ITPro's News & Analysis Editor, responsible for leading the brand's news output and in-depth reporting on the latest stories from across the business technology landscape. Ross was previously a Staff Writer, during which time he developed a keen interest in cyber security, business leadership, and emerging technologies.

He graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2016 with a BA (Hons) in Journalism, and joined ITPro in 2022 after four years working in technology conference research.

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