Critical IT roles for CIOs to recruit in 2015. The breakneck pace of change in the IT industry is forcing you to change the way you think about attracting and hiring skilled workers. Here are six new IT roles for 2015 and advice on how to find talent to fill them
The pace of change in IT has always been brisk, but technology advances such as virtualisation, the cloud, service management and a focus on information management and collaboration have forced businesses into a dead sprint to keep up. And as technology changes, so do the skills, knowledge and job roles needed to design, build, implement and manage these cutting-edge technologies. The majority of IT organisations aren’t prepared for the battle, even as the war for talent rages on.
A continuing talent crisis
According to a report by the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a member-based advisory and consulting company, almost 80% of IT organisations don’t provide training, coaching or education for skills they expect will increase in importance, and 61% don’t have skills forecasts for IT as a whole. Organisations without a clear plan to address these needs risk getting left behind, says Andrew Horne, managing director of CEB.
“The IT talent crisis isn’t new, but there’s a considerable shift happening in the skills that are in demand. We’ve identified six major roles we see as being the ‘future of corporate IT’ that we think most, if not all, innovative companies will need going forward,” Horne says.
The six critical roles businesses need in 2015 and beyond
CEB says CIOs will need to fill these six critical IT roles to remain competitive in 2015 and beyond:
The ubiquitous nature of affordable, easy-to-use cloud-based apps has led to an influx of these applications into the enterprise, says Horne. “In the past, IT was in charge of all technology purchase decisions and developed specific vendor negotiation and purchasing skills,” Horne says. “Now, almost every department from marketing to finance has the ability to buy apps they feel will benefit their group, but in some cases these folks are more willing than able.”
A technology broker provides buying advice and negotiating support to divisions across a company to make sure purchasing decisions are sound and that technology’s compatible with existing systems, Horne says. Some brokers will have a sales or business development background, others will come from procurement or have experience managing IT providers, but all will need to help others within the company make informed decisions based on their previous experience, says Horne.
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Information insight enabler
Most organisations have an abundance of information, reports and statistics, but aren’t using that effectively to drive business and strategic decisions, says Horne. “And information insight enabler is something of a Big Data role; they act as coaches, not just technologists, to help business leaders and front-line employees to derive greater insight from management reports,” he says “These folks understand the data and know best how to put it to business use,” he says.
Candidates will have experience in market research or financial research, or in analytics and statistics.
User experience guru
One of the major obstacles to adoption for traditional enterprise software is poor user experience – take ERP solutions, for example. “A lot of legacy enterprise tech just isn’t user-friendly, and people won’t use something that’s poorly designed or complex, and that impacts productivity in a negative way,” Horne says.
“When it comes to productivity tools for collaboration, analytics and mobile, employees will find a more usable alternative, even if it’s not ‘approved’ or provided by IT, so a user experience guru is necessary to understand and improve the user experience and improve collaboration and productivity,” says Horne.
Cloud integration specialist
As cloud usage increases, so does the number of business leaders purchasing their own applications and software packages (see technology broker). Unfortunately, Horne says, these individual buyers often don’t consider integration and compatibility issues with existing enterprise systems, and that can mean major business headaches.
“A cloud integration specialist is dedicated to navigating these coordination and integration issues as well as managing and educating purchasers and users on compatibility and on working with vendors to ask the right questions,”
Horne says. Because of their need to understand both back-end systems and new, cloud-based technologies, candidates for this role will have the most traditional IT background of these six roles.