It's not only cloud — there's a whole collection of technology- and effectiveness-related skills that IT professionals must plan for now.
A recent Gartner survey found 91 per cent of surveyed IT professionals have no doubt they have a role to play in their organisation’s digital transformation.
However, 59 per cent added that their IT organisation is unprepared for the digital business of the next two years.
The latter finding highlights a real concern, says Gartner, which conducted the survey in the first quarter of 2016, among 948 clients across 30 countries.
"IT professionals indicate that their investment priorities, infrastructure changes, skills development and business-IT interactions are in flux, and that they are unsure how their IT organisation will make it through any digital transformation," says John Hagerty, vice president at Gartner.
"For some, change is coming too fast. For others, it's not coming fast enough. Many know they need to change, to think and act differently, but they struggle with these shifts," says Hagerty, in a statement. "Many find it hard to balance today's demands — including simply keeping their organisation running — with tomorrow's must-haves."
Cloud technology will have most influence on IT jobs
The survey likewise found that the technologies areas that will most influence IT professionals' jobs and careers in the next 18 months are considered to be cloud computing, analytics, mobility and security.
"Emerging technologies in fields such as cloud computing, mobility, and data and analytics, in addition to security and risk management, are permeating nearly every aspect of the IT landscape," says Hagerty. "It's essential that IT professionals identify and fill the main technology- and effectiveness-related skills gaps now — otherwise, they risk impeding their organisation’s progress toward strategic goals."
The surveyed IT professionals identified the cloud as the technology that will have the single-biggest impact on their career this year.
Twenty-two percent selected this option — a figure double that for the next most popular choice, data and analytics.
"Acquiring cloud skills quickly is essential for IT professionals to be able to reimagine and remake their firm's IT infrastructure to better enable digital business strategies," says Hagerty. "However, it's not only cloud — there's a whole collection of technology- and effectiveness-related skills that IT professionals must plan for now."
The survey asked the IT professionals to identify up to three skills gaps that their organisations were trying to fill in relation to information, technology or digital business.
Cloud and data and analytics topped the list, says Gartner.
The respondents also pointed to gaps in general technical skills (indicating a lack of broad technology knowledge), as well as in the fields of security, legacy modernisation, mobility and the Internet of Things.
"But it's not just about technology, as three of the top 10 responses were professional effectiveness skills, namely critical thinking/problem solving, business acumen/knowledge and communication skills," says Hagerty.
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