DX and cybersecurity spur restructuring of ICT teams

DX and cybersecurity spur restructuring of ICT teams

Potentia report highlights areas where relevant skills are in short supply

There is a marked increase in chief information security officer appointments and the launching of security work programmes.

In the wake of several high profile events, CIOs are being challenged by their boards and executive leadership teams with regards to the state of their own cybersecurity, reports ICT recruitment firm Potentia.

This has manifested in a marked increase in chief information security officer appointments, the launching of security work programmes and the search for predictive security monitoring as a service offerings.

CIOs must increasingly proactively support the business-centric chief change agendas of chief digital officers while ensuring that “the lights are kept on” delivering business as usual service levels, according to Potentia’s latest Innovation, Digital and Technology (IDT) Quarterly Insights.

“It is anticipated that this tension and prioritisation for constraint resources will only amplify as digital programmes mainstream,” says Nathan Bryant-Taukiri, Potentia managing director, and report author.

The report notes how the significant churn in CIO level late last year is leading to significant restructuring of ICT teams in the affected organisations.

“This has created opportunities from senior management down to team leader level,” says Bryant-Taukiri.

Meanwhile, several high profile programmes - both in the public and private sector - slowed down or were even halted in the first half of 2016 as a result of further in-depth due diligence being requested especially at board level.

Boards are now demanding heightened programme delivery risk reviews and seeking more quantifiable hard financial benefits before approving programmes, the report states.

“Gone are the days where business cases could traverse such scrutiny on soft non-financial benefits alone. Greater due diligence and business case review processes prior to a programme starting has had a direct impact on the contingent resourcing market - as the ability to on-time deliver these programmes was based on flexing the permanent talent pool through contract resourcing as required.”

”Digital technologies are transforming businesses of every description, in every sector," the report states.
Nathan Bryant-Taukiri
Nathan Bryant-Taukiri

Boards are now demanding heightened programme delivery risk reviews and seeking more quantifiable hard financial benefits before approving programmes

While the technology and skills are available, there is occasionally a gap between technical promise and the ability to put it to work effectively, the report states.

As an example, the latest ‘as-a-service’ offerings are incredibly powerful and it seems many of the teething issues of availability and latency have now been addressed to a large extent.

“However, a new wave of integration and deployment challenges is emerging following the switch to ‘as-a-service’ offerings, which must be overcome if companies are to leverage these new technologies effectively,” says Bryant-Taukiri.

Additionally, in the wake of this ‘as a service’ paradigm, third party intermediaries (vendors, integrators, re-sellers and consultancies) are seeing a shift in demand for their skills and services away from implementation to more on-going management and support capabilities, he states.Integration, customisation and deployment will continue and consequently businesses may want to compress the costs by creating roles in-house rather than relying solely on external suppliers.

The report says the number of people with the relevant skills in above areas is in short supply. Employers have to be creative when it comes to attracting new staff and also increasingly focused on re-training and rewarding existing staff as further shortages emerge, says Bryant-Taukiri.

The report further notes key areas that are shaping the local innovation, digital and technology market:

Digital focus

Creative agencies are experiencing strong growth in their digital offerings. This is leading to exceptionally high demand for UX and CX designers to create and build the digital advertising components. Furthermore, as the focus continues to move from traditional media to digital, the people responsible for digital within these agencies are also increasingly involved in setting high-level business strategy.

Data and analytics

Businesses across all sectors now look to leverage their data to gain a commercial edge and the search for qualified data analysts is frantic. These experts are no longer expected to be purely reporting-focused. They are increasingly required to provide real-world insights from the trends they find in their analysis and are also responsible for communicating these trends and insights to key stakeholders.

Product development

Many technologies have tried to crack the local duopoly of Java and .Net in product development and these technologies are currently facing strong competition from the more rapid MEAN and Rails dev tools. However, .Net Developers still make up more than half of the registered vacancies on NZ’s leading Job Boards for programmers in the last quarter.

Security, integration, cloud and systems

IaaS is the fastest growing segment of the as-a-service sector, both locally and globally. On-premise systems engineers and admins are increasingly upskilling and gaining qualifications in the two front-running juggernauts - AWS and Azure - to reposition themselves as cloud engineers. The most in-demand skill for experienced cloud engineers is cloud security knowledge coupled with relevant experience.

SaaS vendors

In response to growing international demand for fully supported SaaS services, the number of NZ-based operational support and implementation offices (either directly or through re-sellers for the large vendors) has surged, providing 24-hour follow-the-sun support for global clients.

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