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​ The top trends that will shape the most in-demand ICT skills for 2016

​ The top trends that will shape the most in-demand ICT skills for 2016

A heads up on the major challenges ICT departments will face on the talent front next year.


The question that should be on everyone’s mind is how we’ll navigate and manipulate the vast amounts of data from the Internet of Things to realise its promise.
The question that should be on everyone’s mind is how we’ll navigate and manipulate the vast amounts of data from the Internet of Things to realise its promise.

Evolving business strategies in the digital era are impacting the talent required inside ICT teams, says Potentia.

In its report on the NZ Technology Recruitment Market, Potentia lists some of the global and local trends enterprises will face on the talent front.

Digital transformation

Digital transformation continues to be a pervasive strategy, according to the report authors Nathan Bryant-Taukiri, Abinesh Krishan and Julian Lambert of Potentia.

“This is impacting firms from top to bottom in an effort to re-jig themselves toward digital thinking at both strategic and operational levels,” they state.

“The degree of digital adoption varies by organisation. Some are deeply committed and have re-designed the entire organisation; defining and hiring for new functions within new departments.

"Others are taking a more conservative digital-thinking approach through projects rather than restructures. Mostly driven by a focus on customer experience, these digital transformations will also typically demand user experience (UX) specialists around design as well as specialised front-end web development to enhance the richness of the interactive journey. This trend is likely to be around for a while to come the big question is to what extent smaller firms can and will join the fray.”

Read more: Carmen Casagranda of Cigna: The CIO as chief digital transformation officer

The cloud

The report points out that cloud-first strategies are well established, with organisations readily accessing software-as-a-service solutions as a default.

“This has now allowed businesses to critically rationalise and modernise applications roadmaps,” they write. “The mainstreaming of these strategies has created significant demand for experienced infrastructure and solution architects. As a direct result, in the operate state, we are now witnessing the attrition of on-premise infrastructure roles as these now transition to cloud-based roles.”

Salesforce

Read more: Building an ICT leadership bench: A tech bootcamp for Kiwi teens

Salesforce, a 16-year veteran and one of the pioneers of the cloud business model, is winning the war on the cloud first approach to customer relationship and resource management, according to the authors.

Providing an all-encompassing, highly integrated cloud ecosystem, its popularity is driving demand for cloud consultants, Salesforce developers and soon to be administrators to implement and operate customer's entire businesses in a cloud-based capacity, they state. “The low barrier to entry and rich customisable experience may be the mid-market answer to digital transformation referenced above.”

Data and analytics

Evidence-based, data-driven decision-making has taken the world by storm, the report notes. Consequently, the data science and analytics space are growing significantly.

Read more: Forrester to CIOs: Attend more marketing than technology conferences

But, as they observe, “data science is a luxurious powerhouse that only large firms can justify - both with of a sufficient amount of data under management and the cost-benefit ratio to realise business performance improvements".

“Data scientists are in short supply,” they state.

“The big mover will continue to be around analytics talent, which will see new talent train specifically to join the movement while others will re-train to align with this buoyant domain. The question that should be on everyone’s mind is how we’ll navigate and manipulate the vast amounts of data from the Internet of Things to realise its promise.”

Arise, Sir DevOps

Read more: ​Cybersecurity: will it be the ‘it job’ of IT?

“The proliferation of tools to automate, control and orchestrate this control function has led to appointments of individuals and teams in every modern software shop,” the authors note.

DevOps is one of the brand new professions within the sector, and organisations should expect an increase in the importance and specialisation of this skill.

“There simply is not enough expertise to meet the demands of the industry, though the number of tools and training available has radically increased in the past two years,” they state.

“Recruiters and employers need to be cognisant of the need to provide opportunities for the three flavours of people required for DevOps in automation engineering, cloud infrastructure and quality and release.”

Read more: Doing business with Darius S Mistry of Imagetext: The golden rule that powers IT

Recruiters and employers need to be cognisant of the need to provide opportunities for the three flavours of people required for DevOps in automation engineering, cloud infrastructure and quality and release.


Technology choices

The report says .Net developers are among the best paid developers right now.

Read more: Specsavers works with Accenture in move to digital platforms

Microsoft continues to invest heavily in their frameworks, partnerships and integration. The community in .Net is even stronger and fortifies the brand, drawing in younger engineers.

The report notes: “Who could topple them? Java probably can’t topple them as there are too many fiefdoms. Communities for PHP, Python, and Ruby are not big enough yet and functional languages are still gaining momentum. How about writing everything in Javascript? This may all soon be moot with the rise of microservices architecture where using the ‘best tool for the job’ is much more possible. This could bring a greater degree of diversity to the development world and dilute the influence of the big languages.”

Contingent resourcing remains largely static

While organisations have introduced stringent governance for work programmes resulting in the accelerated completion of projects, these have not manifested in any increased demand for contingent resourcing, according to the report. "It is evident that businesses are delivering these initiatives through their existing workforce, where possible through very pronounced prioritisation efforts.”

Read more: ​Gartner to CIOs: Take a board member out to breakfast

Government-as-a-service

The authors point out very public trans-Tasman failures of large IT projects in government have seen the introduction of extremely robust business case processes anchored in tangible and quantifiable business benefits realisation.

In addition to this, annual mandatory compliance requirements continue to create programmes of work that challenge strategic initiatives. This continues to drive resourcing requirements for talent adept at navigating this landscape, especially analysts that are at home in the as-a-service paradigm, they state.

“We feel the major changes are yet to come, particularly around the emerging demands that relate to cybersecurity and especially IoT,” the authors conclude. “This will ensure a very enthralling 2016.”

Send news tips and comments to divina_paredes@idg.co.nz

Follow Divina Paredes on Twitter: @divinap

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