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Enterprise IT Skills Gap Drives New Recruitment

Forward-thinking CEOs create a digital business transformation agenda. They're eager to develop and deploy new digital business models. However, their IT team often lacks the skills and experience to reach key business outcome objectives.

There's growing demand for skilled digital talent in 2023, and beyond.

As a result, 81 percent of large enterprise (LE) CIOs plan to increase their IT headcount in 2023, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner. Meanwhile, only 14 percent expect their IT staff to decrease and 5 percent expect their headcount to remain the same.

Enterprise IT Talent Market Development

"Attracting and retaining technology talent remain critical areas of concern for CIOs," said Jose Ramirez, senior principal analyst at Gartner.

Even with advances in artificial intelligence (AI), Gartner predicts that the global job impact will be neutral in the next several years due to enterprise adoption lags, implementation times and learning curves.

The Gartner survey was conducted among 501 respondents in North America, EMEA and the APAC regions. The LE segment consists of enterprises with a total annual revenue of $1 Billion or more.

"Enterprises have undertaken various digital initiatives over the past two years, with operational excellence and customer or citizen experience being the most popular," said Ramirez.

Still, these initiatives often do not meet enterprise needs quickly enough. In fact, 67 percent of LE CIOs plan to grow their IT headcount in 2023 by at least 10 percent to support their enterprise's digital initiatives.

While CIOs are looking to expand their IT teams, many have faced roadblocks in hiring due to economic conditions. Due to prevailing economic volatility, 41 percent of LE CIOs report slow hiring for IT roles, 35 percent report decreasing overall IT budget and 29 percent report an IT hiring freeze.

CIOs are taking proactive steps to combat economic volatility by relaxing geographic and role requirements to expand their IT talent pipeline. Some organizations have found success by hiring early-career technologists and providing up-skilling opportunities to fill critical technology needs.

Gartner found that full-time IT employees perform 56 percent of the work, while technology advancements such as automation and AI-augmented work account for just over 9 percent of work.

"This reliance on FTEs to meet the demands of Digital Transformation explain why LE CIOs plan to increase IT headcount in 2023," said Ramirez.

The candidate qualities LE CIOs look for are technical skills, soft skills and cultural fit. LE CIOs cite cybersecurity, cloud platforms and customer or user experience as the three most critical technical skills in 2023. Notably missing from the skills list is business outcome realization.

Outlook for Digital Business Talent Recruitment 

Nearly half of LE CIOs plan to invest in training programs to up-skill and re-skill IT staff. And, 46 percent plan to establish Fusion Teams, and to automate routine workflow to free up IT staff time.

"Recruiting the right IT expertise takes time and planning, especially for skills in architecture, cybersecurity, cloud computing and agile software development," said Ramirez. "Ensure that IT has relevant roles, skills and capacity to meet enterprise objectives. This may require embracing a blended workforce model of IT and business domain roles."

That said, I agree the goal needs to be re-framed for a successful digital business talent recruitment process. Line of Business leaders must be involved in the development of requirements to improve qualified candidate selection. Finding and attracting multi-faceted talent is of paramount importance.

Business technologists are skilled in both technology and commerce. They're the high-performance practitioners that are coveted by Chief Human Resource Officers (CHROs) and their recruitment teams.

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