The Information Technology (IT) landscape is growing at an exponential rate, and the current demand for talented IT professionals is fierce. But why?
You’d think there would be enough skilled IT professionals to fill the job market. Unfortunately, not. That’s because it’s no longer good enough to simply be “IT-centric.” Today’s technological world is transforming the necessary skill sets of IT professionals, putting pressure on companies to find highly trained specialists.
Get IT to Handle It
The days of “get IT to handle it” are gone, as the introduction of cloud platforms now allow the end user to manage most of their own application requirements. Today, the IT team has much more important things to manage as most forward-thinking organizations head down the path of a digital transformation.
So, what does this mean for the modern IT professional? Most experienced and tenured professionals have seen this coming for quite a while and have been ensuring longevity by keeping up with groundbreaking technical concepts. However, being just an IT person does not cut it anymore in today’s world. IT pros must also have a vested interest in all areas of the business and how each of those areas ties back to IT.
We are in the data age and it has fallen back into the hands of IT members to build processes and applications that visualize data to a point where bottom lines are positively affected. To do that, the IT team needs to be well versed in other areas, such as accounting/finance, supply chain, marketing, and so on. IT must be multifaceted in order to validate their worth.
Specialization in IT
New and emerging IT job titles, such as Business Analysts, IoT (Internet of Things) Architects, Intelligence Designers, Data Integration and Data Visualization Analysts, are engineering the organization's path to success. As machine learning and technologies like blockchain begin to catapult us into the future of digital, it creates a need for IT leaders to build their teams to be focused on specialized functions, making experience and knowledge in other business areas an imperative pre-requisite.
For example, if your organization is looking to build out a new proprietary CRM (Customer Relationship Management) program incorporating a new pricing component, allocating that to your desktop support tech and asking him to “figure it out” is not that best use of time and resources. It would be best to source out a professional who is experienced in CRM integrations and who has experience building and integrating pricing data. This among a number of other examples really paints the IT professional as not just the person who “fixes the internet,” but as someone who is an extremely important resource inside the business.
Building and/or reskilling IT Teams
When building new IT teams, or reskilling existing teams, it’s important to note that technical acumen can only get you so far. There must be a focus on hiring or reskilling based on business acumen and structuring your team with each business unit in mind.
When looking for that new member to fill your business units’ technical needs, be thorough in your hiring practice and tailor your questions to ensure you unearth those required skill sets. Today, Information Technology is continuing to become very complex and multilayered, and there is a lengthy list of new and existing technical languages and applications to consider when searching for your next rockstar.
A best practice would be to run potential candidates through a quick testing process to ensure all the right pieces are in place and to validate the information listed on the candidate’s CV before hiring. The same process can be executed throughout your existing teams to give you a high-level overview of what and who you have in place. What needs to change? Where are the gaps?
The tech world is extremely exciting and watching the cadence in its change is certainly overwhelming. That said, it’s very important to stay abreast of cutting-edge concepts. I met a client recently who stated, “No matter what position you hold in the business, you must have some level of technical dexterity.” I thought this to be a very bold and telling statement of our current landscape. Technology is the future and IT teams will eventually be, if they’re not already, the core business unit of your organization.
David Aplin Group is a private family and employee owned Canadian staffing agency founded in Alberta in 1975, recognized as one of Canada's most accomplished recruiting firms.Our mission is to positively impact lives. Blog author, Mike Letto, is Aplin's Business Development Consultant based in Edmonton, Alberta.