Digital innovations are driving a fundamental shift in the requirements of the modern IT workforce. Your department is no longer simply concerned with internal operations. IT is now an enabler of transformation, big data management and real-time decision making. It is expected to align with business needs, and deliver against evolving strategic priorities.
For IT leaders, this means building and retaining the right balance of skills within the team. ‘Hard’ technical skills remain essential, but there’s an increasing focus on the ‘soft skills’ needed to deliver results. Managers must recruit staff who can blend technical knowledge with the ability to negotiate and lead.
The modern IT workforce must lean into discussions taking place throughout the wider company. It is expected to provide input on strategy, engage with stakeholders across the business, and negotiate and reason to influence decision making. Soft skills are the missing piece of the puzzle. In the Millennial Branding and Experience study, 86% of respondents said they would like to close their skills gap, yet finding resource - and retaining staff - often slows progress significantly.IT leaders can also bring in scarce skills, or skills that may not be required on a full time basis. This resourcing compliments in-house capabilities, giving the organisation the skills to complete a digital transformation initiative. By partnering with third party providers, the business can take advantage of opportunities for digital transformation more quickly. It can bring in strategists, new ideas, fresh leadership and impartial negotiators. It can also help to cascade skills like team working, and encourage better engagement across the department.