Mind The Skills Gap: The 3 Most In-Demand Digital Skills Right Now

Mind The Skills Gap: The 3 Most In-Demand Digital Skills Right Now

January 30, 2017 Insight 0

Most companies are now realizing the importance of digital transformation (DX) and committing themselves to full digital maturation. It is not always an easy journey, however, and one issue is becoming increasingly challenging: finding people with the right skills.

According to figures from recruitment specialists Robert Walters, 47 percent of IT hiring managers expect to grow their team in the coming months, with two-thirds hoping to recruit full-time staff. In this competitive market, many jobs are going to people who are new to the industry, with 57 percent of survey respondents expecting to see an increase in graduate recruitment this year.

So which areas are hottest right now? The survey identifies three especially in-demand fields:

  • Cybersecurity

Security is front-page news these days, from the ransomware epidemic to the suspected role of hackers in the last US election. It is also a big deal in DX, with 70 percent of IT professionals listing security concerns as an obstacle to the adoption of cloud services.

This is creating a huge demand for cybersecurity professionals, with 54 percent of IT hiring managers saying that this will be the number one area of growth in recruitment over the course of this year. Organizations also need new types of cybersecurity experts, such as those who can become part of a DevOps team, those who specialize in cloud security, and data experts who can use analytics to identify potential attacks

  • Business intelligence (BI) and big data

Data is at the heart of DX. A mature digital organization will gather an unprecedented amount of data, which it will use to generate insights that will drive top-level business decisions. Analytics experts are essential to this new structure, and 36 percent of survey participants expect to hire people with BI and big data skills in the coming months.

The data skills required here are relatively new, which is a problem in itself. Most experienced BI and data experts won’t have experience of working with a network as enormous as an Industrial Internet of Things, for example, as these technologies are so new. Over time these skills will become more common, but right now they represent something of a recruitment bottleneck.

  • Cloud systems

The transition to the cloud is continuing apace, with Forbes reporting that by 2018 the typical IT department will have under 40 percent of its systems running on-premise. As well as the security and analytics implications of a cloud-based infrastructure, cloud expertise will be essential for integration and for optimizing new solutions.

Having a cloud expert opens up new possibilities for your IT department, such as the constant delivery model of DevOps, or intense efficiency of composable infrastructure. Most cloud providers will provide extensive support as part of the service, but in-house expertise is essential for larger projects.

High demand in these areas is creating a substantial skills gap, which is why graduate recruitment is increasing. Over time, companies can upskill graduates and other employees and build the teams that will help them to achieve their DX goals.

For now, however, it is a competitive hiring market. Talented people are out there looking for jobs, and they can be convinced to join your team if you can convince them that you have a clear and exciting vision for your digital future.

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About the author

Frank Weyns
Racker since 2015 - Frank started his growth at the Belgian National Army and his career has not become less exciting since then. As the EMEA Director of Openstack at Rackspace, Frank is a well-traveled public speaker on Private Cloud who’s not afraid to speak his mind.


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