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Developing your 21st century workforce

Lou Markstrom | Aug. 26, 2015
The current transformation taking place in the IT industry is shaking the foundations of the profession for the better. IT departments are evolving from back offices to client-facing organisations that are critical to the future of the business.

The current transformation taking place in the IT industry is shaking the foundations of the profession for the better. IT departments are evolving from back offices to client-facing organisations that are critical to the future of the business.

The challenge that is the Achilles heel to this transformation is a growing skills gap. According to recent research by Accenture, 55 percent of IT workers are under pressure to develop additional skills to succeed in their current and future roles. And only 21 percent have acquired new skills through formal, company provided training in the past five years!

It is now time for IT leaders to build a strategy for talent management that helps their people and teams meet the new demands that are being placed on the technology group.

Develop a core competency mindset

The first step to addressing this skills gap is focusing on the core skills. Technical skills are important but are only the starting point.

The IT professional of today needs professional skills. They need to be able to understand the business, listen to its needs and develop innovative solutions.

They must develop a deep understanding of the business and the drivers to propel growth. They must be adept at collaborating with others and working with teams.

From the feedback we have received from CIOs throughout Australia and the US, IT professionals need the following 12 core skills (see image below) to stay, progress, and develop in their career.

Best practices in talent management

Once we have identified the gap and the skills that an IT professional needs today, we must now look at the practices we can put in place to address this need.

Enable career journey interactions

It all starts with communication. It is just as important to communicate the skills that are vital to your organisation ahead of time as it is to provide the mechanism to help staff develop these skills.

They must understand how these skills relate to the vision, values, and the company itself. The more your people understand the ‘why’, the more likely they are to embrace the transformation.

Assess core competencies

You need to understand where your organisation stands in relation to the 12 core skills shown in the image above.

Individuals should be assessed at an individual level and then data compiled into an organisation-wide report. This will show you your organisation’s strengths and areas for improvement.

Every one of your IT professionals must have a personal understanding of their own strengths and areas for improvement. The transformation of your organisation is the sum of the individual transformations in which the individuals gain the skills and knowledge to be trusted partners and strategic advisors to the business.

 

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