Technology adoption is accelerating across industries, and newer technologies are always emerging, so how can CIOs keep track of the necessary skills and ensure staff are up to speed? the same grit every day.”
With competition for skilled IT workers getting tighter, it’s more important than ever for enterprises to be sure they’re spending on recruiting and retaining the right talent.
IT executives see talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, ahead of implementation cost (29%) or security risk (7%), according to a September 2021 Gartner survey.
Identifying which emerging technologies will prove most useful is a challenge, though. The pace of technology has evolved so rapidly over the last few years, multiplied by the pandemic, that it’s hard to keep track — and what’s most in demand today may be obsolete tomorrow. With the accelerated pace of technology adoption, how are CIOs to identify the skillsets they need in their team?
CIO.com India asked IT leaders from different industries about the strategies they use to forecast which skills they will need.
For Giridhar Yasa, chief technology officer at Indian online financing company Lendingkart, it starts with reading. “We follow industry developments quite closely and do our own research. This happens through reports like those published by the Reserve Bank of India, industry consulting majors, and technology papers among others,” he told CIO.com.
Rohit Kaila, vice president of Walmart Global Tech India, develops IT systems for the US supermarket chain. He identifies current skill needs by evaluating his IT inventory. “There might be 10 or 20 or 100 systems out there. What are the key technologies in those systems? That is what drives the people that I’m going to hire.”
Let’s take a look at where the reasoning of some of these CIOs leads them.
CSS Corp’s Marri says the technical skills that will continue to drive the IT industry are AI, analytics, ML, open-source, languages such as Python, full-stack development, and niche areas such as augmented reality and virtual reality.
The IT leader at the renewable energy company says there will be most demand for data scientists who can translate data into more meaningful business language, cybersecurity experts, cloud architects and business analysts who can bridge between the business and the technology team.
Intuits’ Saxena highlights the steadily increasing jobs in cloud computing as enterprises in India and globally are moving workloads and applications from traditional data centres to the cloud. The most in-demand and highest-paying talents in this group, he says, are experience with AWS, AI/ML, cloud-native technologies such as Kubernetes and containers, open telemetry, Kafka, GraphQL, and React. “Developers are in massive demand, thanks to rising demand for software and apps as the globe gets more digitally linked. Knowledge of Python, Java, R, and natural language processing tops the list of the in-demanded skills… Other than these, we’re also on the lookout for top talent skilled in big data; data scientists; development managers; product managers, and designers.”
Cisco’s Patil says it’s all about ‘superskilling’ as we go deeper into the digital-first world: “Organizations should implement a culture of continuous learning and upskill existing teams on critical IT skills such as cybersecurity, cloud computing, devops, AI/machine learning, data analytics, blockchain, and software/mobile development.”
As you can see, while the core forecasting methods (looking at the constants, at the business environment, at customer needs) can lead CIOs to different, yet equally valid, conclusions about the skills their enterprise needs, there are still some overlaps. Short-term competition for candidates with these skills will continue to drive up costs, making it all the more important that CIOs look at the business, analytical and soft skills that will remain relevant when the current technology fads have passed.