The technology skills shortage – where do you need to look?

The technology skills shortage – where do you need to look?

It isn’t a secret that some CIOs and business leaders are worried that they don’t have the skills in their technology organisation to support the business as it moves to a digital future.

Speed to market, agility, automation, artificial intelligence, customer focus, technology driven innovation……these words are widely used but sum up the key capabilities businesses now need to survive and prosper.

So why are CIOs worried that their existing IT teams and personnel can’t rise to this new challenge and support a digital business? Let’s discuss.

History and the present

If you speak to leaders in the hospitality or airline sector about Service Delivery and customer service, their whole approach and focus is completely different to those responsible for technology services. Does this stem from the fact that the concept of IT Service Delivery and IT ‘best practices` have been developed by IT people for IT people? Is it because IT strategies have been based on delivering projects and technology enhancements rather than on what the customer and business needs? They are certainly contributing factors.

Many Technology Service Heads (and Directors of), still talk about embedding best practice frameworks and specific processes, such as Incident, Capacity and Change as their focus, without a clear end goal in mind, e.g. delivering a personal service, having a view of end-to-end operations, and improving customer perception. Many still refer to conflicting objectives across technology teams as a challenge, meaning that their people are reactive rather than pro-active. 

The future

As businesses move forward, the situation above is greatly concerning for many CIOs as it will cause friction, problems and bottlenecks.

The CIO’s vision is to deliver enhanced customer experiences, use automation and new technologies to take care of low complexity tasks, and to make sure that their technology organisation mirrors and supports the ethos and workings of a digital, agile business. The reality for many, is that their technology organisation, in terms of personnel, focus, roles, skills, and culture, is a long way away from being able to do this.

With the onset of Digital working and the Cloud, the profile of an IT professional and the required skills/competencies will naturally have to change if businesses are to survive. Communication, relationship building, account management, data manipulation, vendor management, presenting to stakeholders, and continual improvement are all now key skills. The hands-on competencies and technical skills traditionally associated with an IT role are now becoming a `nice to have` rather than a necessity.

The question we’ll finish with, is where do CIOs need to look to find the skills needed to create and maintain a technology organisation that is fit for the future? Should they develop their existing people, recruit new personnel who are a better fit, exploit the contractor and consultancy market, extend existing outsourcing agreements, or a mixture of the above?

We’ll leave you to decide.

About iCore

iCore are a UK based consultancy that are in business to help your company create the capabilities needed to achieve business benefits through technology.

From helping you to embed an Operating Model that allows flexibility and change to business needs; having the appropriate roles and people in position; embedding processes and governance frameworks that are robust but not overly complicated; to capitalising on opportunities for automation and optimising your tool sets; we can work with you and add value at every step of your transformation journey.

For more information about iCore and how we can ensure your goals are achieved, please email info@icore-ltd.com or call 020 7868 2405.