Despite a robust and growing job market and lucrative salaries, there is a global shortage of Information Technology (IT) professionals. To make matters worse, women continue to be underrepresented in the IT workforce and among IT degree holders. In today’s knowledge based economy and society, it is extremely important to increase the presence of women in the IT field. In order to do so, it is necessary to reduce entry barriers and attract more women to pursue degrees in various IT fields including the field of Management Information Systems (MIS). Even though MIS is considered to have a more feminine nature, women still tend to avoid majoring in this field. Unfortunately, there is a lack of research that investigates the specific factors that may deter women from pursuing a degree in MIS. To address this research gap, this study examined a set of key environmental barriers that might prevent women from pursuing an MIS degree and explored whether there were any gender differences between female and male students in terms of these key barriers. Based on a survey of 280 students enrolled in an introductory level MIS course, the study empirically confirmed that there were significant differences between male and female students in terms of the key contextual barriers perceived. Female students demonstrated major concerns about gender discrimination related barriers, whereas male students were more concerned about negative social influences. Both male and female students were equally concerned about not being able to fit in well with other MIS majors. The findings have important implications for MIS programs, as the information gained can be used to design and implement specific intervention strategies to overcome the barriers and attract larger pools of women to the MIS discipline. The paper concludes with a discussion of the findings, implications, and future research directions.
Cloud computing has provided the impetus for change in the demand, sourcing, and consumption of IT-enabled services. The technology developed from an emerging trend towards a ‘musthave’. Many organizations harnessed on the quick-wins of cloud computing within the last five years but nowadays reach a plateau when it comes to sustainable savings and performance. This study aims to investigate what is needed from an organizational perspective to make cloud computing a sustainable success. The study was carried out in Germany among senior IT professionals, both in management and delivery positions. Our research shows that IT executives must be prepared to realign their IT workforce to sustain the advantage of cloud computing for today and the near future. While new roles will undoubtedly emerge, roles alone cannot ensure the success of cloud deployments. What is needed is a change in the IT workforce’s business behaviour, or put more simply, the ways in which the IT personnel works. It gives clear guidance on which dimensions of an employees’ working behaviour need to be adapted. The practical implications are drawn from a series of semi-structured interviews, resulting in a high-level workforce enablement plan. Lastly, it elaborates on tools and gives clear guidance on which pitfalls might arise along the proposed workforce enablement process.
It is widely acknowledged that there is a shortage of software developers, not only in South Africa, but also worldwide. Despite reports on a gap between industry needs and software education, the gap has mostly been explored in quantitative studies. This paper reports on the qualitative data of a mixed method study of the perceptions of professional software developers regarding what topics they learned from their formal education and the importance of these topics to their actual work. The analysis suggests that there is a gap between industry’s needs and software development education and the following recommendations are made: 1) Real-life projects must be included in students’ education; 2) Soft skills and business skills must be included in curricula; 3) Universities must keep the curriculum up to date; 4) Software development education must be made accessible to a diverse range of students.