Enterprises should seek support from experienced service providers, invest in training and consider overlooked professionals to help overcome a skills gap in a range of important IT areas, says an expert with Information Services Group, leading global technology research and advisory firm.
“Today, newer technologies emerge in pockets, resulting in more complex environments and requiring multiple skills. Enterprises need to add, rather than replace, skills and employees, as the need for heritage skills doesn’t abate quickly or even at all.”
Ola Chowning, partner, ISG Digital Strategy and Solutions, will review her three-pronged strategy to combat talent shortages in the most in-demand IT areas during a 30-minute online presentation, “Skill Shift 2021 – From Deep to Wide, Hard to Soft,” today at 4 p.m., U.S. Eastern Time, as part of the All Day DevOps conference. This is Chowning’s fourth consecutive appearance at the annual event, the largest of its kind in the industry.
“New technology has always triggered some form of skill shortage, but in the past, fewer choices and fewer solutions allowed us to follow a linear path to technology maturity,” Chowning said. “Today, newer technologies emerge in pockets, resulting in more complex environments and requiring multiple skills. Enterprises need to add, rather than replace, skills and employees, as the need for heritage skills doesn’t abate quickly or even at all.”
Chowning said the biggest skill gaps are currently in data and applied intelligence, cybersecurity, modern architecture and operations and modern software development. Skill premiums are emerging in functions and industries that are rapidly deploying technology as a cornerstone of the business model, such as FinTech, MarTech, MedTech and more.
“Organizations should address skill gaps with a three-prong strategy,” she said. “Leverage new and existing service provider ecosystems to cover skills that will be scarce in both the short- and longer-term; invest heavily in skills development and retention of the current workforce and, when needed, be prepared to pay top dollar for lower-experienced but skilled workers in unique areas.”
Chowning notes the labor shortage and the so-called “great resignation of 2021” has created a perfect storm of need outpacing capacity. “Generalists are in high demand, yet specialization remains important,” she said.
“Today’s gaps are a result of the growing velocity in emerging technologies, an under-investment in skills development and a pandemic-fueled explosion of companies scrambling to modernize their environments and transform to digital- and data-led operations,” Chowning said. “While top tech skills are in demand, strong relational—or soft—skills will always make candidates stand out.”
The sixth annual All Day DevOps 24-hour live stream event started at 3 a.m., U.S. Eastern Time, today. The conference features 180 practitioner-led sessions, across six tracks: CI/CD Continuous Everything; Modern Infrastructure; DevSecOps; Cultural Transformations, Site Reliability Engineering and Government.
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