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Talent cliff threatens digital transformation

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Kathy Gibson at Gartner Symposium, Cape Town — There is a looming talent cliff for technology skills — while there has also been a 60% growth in non-IT skills.
What organisations need is people with digital dexterity. Gartner finds. These people need to have the ability and the desire to exploit new technologies for different business outcomes.
“All CIOs tell us that talent is the top priority for them to succeed,” says Peter Sondergaard, executive vice-president: research at Gartner. “And our research shows that talent and culture are the top priorities for business.
“For an organisation, people and culture must come first. And this means your own leadership team.”
The market for talent is very dynamic, Sondergaaard says. “We’ve analysed 200-million job postings, and it reveals some interesting shifts.
In 2015, organisations needed CRM, cloud computing and project management. Later on, information and infrastructure jobs were in demand. Then financial roles grew.
Now there is a massive rise in demand for security positions — and supply is not meeting demand. “Organisations are struggling to find security talent,” Sondergaaard says.
The market may not fill that demand, but Gartner sees new trends to artificial intelligence (AI), digital security and Internet of Things (IoT).
Sondergaaard believes that AI will play a big role in providing the defence that will be needed.
“How do you get digital to scale?” he asks. “You need to hire leaders, but will you find them in the labour pool?”
For instance, there is a massive global shortage of AI leaders, and available job candidates are being wooed by at least 12 organisations.
“So where in the world are you going to find the people you need?” Sondergaard asks. “While you need the talent, you may not be able to hire the people.”
Companies will have to find creative ways to fill the need: contracting sharing, crowdsourcing or others.
CEOs are making digital a priority, and are challenging the HR organisation to boost talent attractions and retention, Sondergaard says.
They are also having to find new way to create new talent.
“If we look further out, we will soon see a time where we augment people with AI, integrating virtual employee assistants, to increase productivity.”
Sondergaard urges CIOs to start working closer with HR. “Together you can be the dynamic duo of dexterity.”
Digital dexterity means that CIOs will also spend more time working with external organisations, to create digital scale.
“So immediately start working with HR to bring new capabilities to the company. Longer term, AI and analytics will enhance human capability,” Sondergaard says.