Grow your own talent

CIOs and CTOs are developing the talent modern business requires

Ten years ago, my eldest daughter entered the education system. Ten years ago, CIOs and CTOs were not recruiting data scientists and User Experience (UX) leaders. There were information managers, there were scientists; but they rarely worked in enterprise IT and users were employees not customers and few organisations focused on the experience those consumers had. Today as we near 2020 there is no doubt that the roles of those working in a CIO's team has drastically changed.

This change in the type of skills required by the enterprise has fostered a common vernacular, as the technology world is apt to do - the skills shortage. Many agree a skills shortage is upon us, others see a change in the global culture that is impacting recruitment in just the same way as it is keeping shoppers at home (but still shopping) and TV show watchers out and about (but still watching episodes). Whichever you believe, if organisations need data scientists and UX leads, they will have to do more than place a role with a recruitment firm. It is no longer a buyer's market; enterprise IT needs to look at its house and do some Do It Yourself (DIY) and develop the skills it requires.

Is there a skills gap?

A report by the European Commission found that 37% of the workforce do not have the basic digital skills organisations now require and the Commission believes there could be 750,000 roles left open in 2020. Beyond Europe, the World Economic Forum reports that 54% of the global workforce will need "significant re-skilling" by 2022. This comes at a time when IT organisations are struggling to find those rare soft skills needed to ensure new technologies are adopted and new ways of working embraced.

The recruitment sector is convinced there is a skills gap and is struggling to find the number of candidates it requires for the commissions it receives from CIOs. The European Commission agrees with the recruiters and states that demand for digital professionals has grown by four percent a year for the last decade. Security, data analytics, IoT, Cloud, change management and integration skills are those the Commission, recruiters and CIOs in my network all agree there is a shortage of.

Of those only IoT is really new, and with a range of new technologies about to hit the enterprise such as Edge computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning, the World Economic Forum says there could be 133 million new roles about to be created.

CIO at global science and manufacturing firm Johnson Matthey Paul Coby is not surprised. Coby spent nine years as Chair of the CIO Board at eSkills, a not-for-profit employer-led organisation which existed to promote technology skills development and, as you would expect, he has a clear view of whether the technology sector is facing a skills gap. 

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