How A CIO Can Build The Next Generation Of IT Workers

by drjim on April 2, 2014

Building a next generation IT department is hard work

Building a next generation IT department is hard work
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Yea! The global economy is improving and that means that good things are going to be coming to the IT department because the rest of the company has finally come to realize the importance of information technology. Specifically, since you have the CIO position, it’s going to be time for you to whip the IT team into shape in order to take on all of the new initiatives that the company is going to be preparing to rollout. What this means is that you are going to be given an opportunity to build the IT workforce of tomorrow. Do you have any idea how to go about doing this?

Challenges CIOs Face In Building The New IT Department

The IT workforce that your IT department is going to have to have as the company moves forward into the 21st Century is going to be very different from the one that it has had in the past. Your new workers are going to have to have more aptitude in areas such as business acumen, understanding of both risk and compliance, as well as interpersonal communication skills. This isn’t going to be easy. Here are three reasons why CIOs are going to face challenges in building this type of IT workforce:

  • Shortage Of Emerging Technology Skills: The good news is that there does not seem to be a shortage of IT workers. However, the bad news is that there does seem to be a shortage of IT workers with the skill sets that you are going to need in the future. Skills such as mobile, virtual desktops, cloud, and big data are very hard to find. This will result in the use of more contractors and that is not the right way to build an IT department for the long term.
  • How To Get The Best Of The Best: When you are able to find an IT worker who has the set of skills that you would like to add to your IT department, you are going to be in competition to land them. Other firms, such as Apple, Google, and Facebook are going to be looking for the exact same types of IT workers. In order to convince them to turn those suitors down and to join your firm you are going to have to be able to paint a compelling picture of what your firm can offer them.
  • Oops – You Did Too Much Cost Cutting: During the global recession, CIOs and their IT departments got very good at cutting costs. This included layoffs, outsourcing, and offshoring. The end result of all of this downsizing is that your IT department may be left with not enough institutional memory to accomplish all that the rest of the company is expecting of it. As you seek to build your workforce of tomorrow, you are going to have to rebuild your foundation before you start to expand the department.
  • What All Of This Means For You

    The global recover that is currently taking place is going to provide CIOs with a unique opportunity. As companies prepare to once again ramp up their production and enter new markets, they are going to be looking to their IT departments to help them compete effectively.

    The problem that most CIOs are going to be facing is that there is a real shortage of the types of talent that they are going to need in order to build an IT workforce of tomorrow. They are going to be competing with IT powerhouses such as Google, Apple, and Facebook in order to attract the best talent. Finally, their success in cutting costs in the recent past may come back to haunt them.

    These challenges make the CIO job that much harder to do well. However, as your company comes under increasing pressure to increase their revenues they are going to be expecting you to build an IT department that will allow them to do this. Good luck!

    – Dr. Jim Anderson
    Blue Elephant Consulting –
    Your Source For Real World IT Department Leadership Skills™

    Question For You: Where do you think CIOs should look in order to find the IT workers of tomorrow?

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    What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

    Risk is a part of every CIO’s standard job description. However, we all find different ways to deal with it. We like to measure risk by measuring uptime, mean time between failures, and other ways that risk can impact the importance of information technology. However, is it possible that we’re missing the most important measurement of all? Could it be that just by keeping things the same in our IT departments we are creating the greatest source of risk for our companies?

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