It's no surprise by now that IT leaders have ever greater responsibilities concerning strategic business tasks and various digital transformation initiatives. But with added responsibility comes other operational challenges such as the hiring of top talent with the necessary skills to put those initiatives into practice.
Increasing operational efficiency, cybersecurity, leveraging IoT devices, cloud adoption, and integration, are some of the most pressing issues that CIOs and other IT leaders need to address. These initiatives, among others, are dictating the current trends in the talent market.
What Are the Toughest Roles to Fill in IT?
Delivering in most IT initiatives these days requires a heavy focus on cybersecurity and risk management. It's precisely these areas that CIOs struggle the most to find qualified personnel. Next, come cloud services, integration, multi-cloud management, and overall cloud architecture. Cloud computing, as a whole, provides tremendous potential for flexibility and scalability, particularly in a disrupted or uncertain global economy.
Other areas that see a tough time hiring top talent are enterprise architecture, DevOps/Agile process, automation, and IoT implementation. Below is a list of the senior hardest roles to fill in IT in 2019.
- Security and risk management
- Cloud services and integration
- IoT (connected devices, sensors)
- Enterprise architecture
- Multi-cloud management
- Automation and robotic processes
- Cloud architecture
- DevOps/Agile processes
The Scramble for IT “Unicorns”
With so many organizations undergoing digital transformation, it's no wonder that there's fierce competition for top talent or IT “unicorns,” as we like to call them. Companies have started adopting all sorts of strategies to attract these unicorns with varying degrees of success.
Some companies have adopted some extreme hiring strategies in this attempt. And while they may make some sense on paper, in practice they can prove disastrous. On the one hand, some businesses create an endless stream of applicants going in and out of the organization. They hope that this massive influx of applicants will inevitably result in some that are worth keeping. The problem is that this high turnover rate will not only increase costs but will also drop company morale.
Adversely, others have done the complete opposite. Their approach is to look at every hire as a sort of diamond in the rough that, with enough time and investment, will turn into a top performer. This strategy, however, often results in precious resources being squandered on employees that don't have the capability or willingness to excel.
There is no one-way-fits-all approach, but neither these strategies nor higher salaries and benefits alone are the way to go. All of these can prove to be quite costly and ineffective in an overly competitive job market.
When to Hire and When to Outsource
CIOs need to take the idea of outsourcing very seriously if they wish to remain competitive. Some areas should include full-time, in-house hires, as much as possible, particularly regarding data analytics, AI/ML, and CX/UX design, or any others that prove to be vital to an organization's success.
Other fields, however, are changing and innovating too fast to keep up with and upskilling employees may be a too costly endeavor. Such areas include things like security, automation, and cloud architecture. Even though they are essential; they are better off in the hands of trained professionals. They have access to a large body of skill sets through an entire help desk and a team of engineers/solution architects. And let's not forget the costs associated with salaries, benefits, and other in-house costs such as workstations, etc.
IT leaders should decide which parts of their processes should be in-house and which should be outsourced, depending on the company's individual needs and goals.