2019 trends: In tech, how work gets done upstages who does it
Companies are caught up in the cycle of technical debt, struggling to adopt more agile, cloud-based technology. Others, with some foresight, are modernizing quickly.
Industry leaders are paying close attention to how technology initiatives are accomplished, keying into methodologies like DevOps. For some organizations, how work is accomplished is taking on greater importance than who accomplishes the work.
In leading companies, employees from all levels are incentivized to work across business lines in agile ways, bucking dated waterfall methods.
Enterprise technology hiring trends focus on working smarter. Companies determined to reinvent the wheel of technology adoption lose sight of adaptive methodologies and creative hires.
Here are five enterprise technology hiring and methodology trends for 2019:
The rise — or (pit)fall — of DevOps
Nearing its 10-year anniversary, the concepts underpinning DevOps are proven.
What industry has failed to do is implement it correctly, said George Spafford, senior director analyst at Gartner, in an interview with CIO Dive.
DevOps is riddled with high expectations and burdened by too many people, variables, expectations and politics.
What's failing in DevOps are the "people and the way they're trying to implement it," said Spafford.
Gartner forecasts 90% of DevOps initiatives will fail to meet expectations because of management's approach to implementation through 2023.
There is an upside: DevOps adoption is increasing and the combination of agile and DevOps is allowing organizations to deliver value faster, Spafford said.
Companies will find success by grounding projects in value, creating pathways to learn and change during adoption. Without adaptation, organizations will continue to repeat mistakes.
Expert hires make way for multiskilled talent
The technology talent wars are best illustrated by skyrocketing salaries and eager companies' willingness to layer employee perks into contracts. Credentials in competitive IT trades can pave a candidate's path into any organization. And executives with a proven IT strategy track record command top dollar.
The war for talent is nothing new. "It's always been going on," said Michael Guggemos, CIO of Insight, in an interview with CIO Dive. Companies self-select talent based on how they're organized.
For example, engineering organizations seek talent with in-depth engineering backgrounds. Companies building Android products won't target iOS developers. An Oracle ERP shop is not going to seek out SAP experts.
With the emergence of as a service models, the hunt for specialized talent has shifted to the providers. In its wake, businesses are left with talent requirements centralized on multiskilled people, where an employee understands multiple parts of IT, according to Guggemos.
Providers are pushing to break applications apart, moving away from full suite offerings. Few people understand the business technology implications of such a shift, Guggemos said.
Businesses are targeting those who can work with everything from middleware to user facing applications.
That being said ...
Future technology experts remain a hot commodity
Even though hiring is projected to emphasize multiskilled IT talent, industry has a rabid appetite for emerging technology experts.
In 2019 and beyond, artificial intelligence will seep into every industry, according to LinkedIn's 2018 report on emerging jobs.
AI-related skills are woven into six of LinkedIn's 15 emerging jobs, with roles such as machine learning engineer, machine learning researcher and data science manager.
Technology giants like Facebook, Apple and Microsoft are companies readily employing talent with AI-related skills. But with competition driving innovation, organizations like Capital One are also bent on bringing in the skill set, according to LinkedIn.
As AI skills become more prevalent, hiring demands are changing. AI architects, AI product managers, data scientists and software engineers are top jobs in the field in 2019, according to a KPMG report. Companies are also seeking AI ethicists, targeting experts who can understand the potential social implications of how AI will weave into the fabric of society.
Enterprises are also focused on hiring for a skill set that came into the spotlight with the bitcoin rush: blockchain.
Blockchain developers rang in at No. 1 on LinkedIn's emerging job's list, buoyed by the cryptocurrency rush.
The technology is finding its way into the supply chain sector and vendors are testing as a service enterprise offerings. The fever for the technology has cooled, but blockchain developers remain in high demand.
Push to unleash talent
The rise of cloud- and service-based technology has made it easier for employees to work.
Companies no longer hindered by legacy technology (or moving to modernize) are turning attention to unleashing their workforce.
The prize? Innovation. And organizations are looking to technology to make it possible.
Automation will play a key role in freeing the workforce from rote tasks, allowing employees to think in unique ways, according to Chris O'Neal, Evangelist at Workfront, in an email to CIO Dive.
The push for automation — and subsequent innovation — has been on the horizon for years, but AI is maturing, making the elimination of mundane work possible in the near term.
"Automation will make it easier to build solutions that do the busy work so that workers can focus on business issues and set aside time to innovate," said O'Neal.
Calls for diversity will not dwindle among a growing workforce
With the talent wars raging, the rush to hire in the high tech industry can prioritize candidates of similar backgrounds: college-educated white men.
Industry has worked for years to improve diversity and inclusion in technology hiring; 45% of Atlassian's 1,500 U.S. tech workers surveyed said their company has a formal diversity and inclusion program.
Eight in 10 respondents said diversity and inclusion was important to their company.
Some companies, like Salesforce, have made high-profile moves to address issues like the pay gap. Intel achieved full workforce representation, but says its diversity and inclusion efforts are "just the beginning."
Other technology companies have said their diversity data is a trade secret.
The push to diversify the workforce ties directly into competition and innovation in the market. Employees from different backgrounds can offer unique ideas, creating an environment for innovation.
"In the highly competitive world we live in, it's not an option for technology companies to ignore the lack of diversity within their teams, it's a business imperative," said Brenda Darden Wilkerson, President and CEO, AnitaB.org, in an emailed statement to CIO Dive. "Companies need to address inclusion and equity holistically and accept that the same slate of status quo tech workers will not lead us down the path of innovation.
"To win the innovation wars, to stay relevant, to fill their empty seats with quality candidates – tech companies need to make bold moves," Wilkerson said.
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