Must Have IT Skills You Need to Remain Competitive - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Team Building & Staffing
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Must Have IT Skills You Need to Remain Competitive

Engineers, developers, and IT managers might want to consider training on these skill sets to keep themselves invaluable to their organizations.
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The ever-changing, enterprise IT landscape means there will always be a need to learn new technical disciplines or concepts. Getting trained in different programming languages may just be a starting point though. New combinations of responsibilities, processes, and duties are taking shape across technical and business disciplines, leading to the rise of DevOps, DevSecOps, and machine learning in digital transformation plans.

IT team members may already have certain foundational skills but navigating future frontiers will require them to try new paths.

Whether companies plan to train up their in-house teams or look externally for new hires, there are skills that most any IT staffer may want to pursue to keep their edge. Experts from enterprise learning provider CGS (Computer Generated Solutions) and file-sharing software provider Egnyte shared their insight on which skills are currently hot and may have long-term demand among enterprises.

Vineet Jain, founder and CEO of Egnyte, says data scientists are hard to come by right now, even though the need for them pervades aspects of organizations beyond engineering and DevOps. He sees demand for hires across a mix of different technical areas such as data analytics, containers and Kubernetes.

There is a high demand for coding and scripting skills that go beyond the basics, says Tal Broner, executive vice president of engineering for Egnyte. “The way technology evolved, everything is code,” he says. “A few years back it was more about understanding tools and systems. Now everything is code.” That includes APIs and infrastructure, he says, which can achieve new levels of control through coding.

DevOps is needed earlier in the design phase, Broner says, raising the demand for design skills and an understanding of architecture.

Part of the demand for more training can be attributed to the natural attrition of tech talent from the workforce. As more seasoned IT staff retires, they take their understanding of legacy systems with them, says Doug Stephen, senior vice president of the learning division and country manager for CGS Canada. That loss of institutional knowledge can exacerbate gaps in skills as organizations attempt to migrate to new infrastructure and models.

Operational changes within organizations can also increase the need for IT teams as well as other employees to gain new knowledge. CGS commissioned a survey of more than 600 employees at companies across the retail, telecom, hospitality, and banking industries. The survey asked participants questions about how currently available training and development offerings could affect their careers.

The survey showed least 50% of the respondents in telecom, retail, and hospitality expressed concern about their current level of technical skill. Of the respondents in telecom, 40% stated they looked to independent resources for new technical skills because the type of training they needed was not available in-house.

Stephen also says that 25% of responding employees were experiencing on a weekly basis new policies and procedures being rolled out. About 48.5% of responding employees saw new technology being introduced monthly, compounding the need to keep up.

“To us, that’s quite astounding,” Stephen says. The changes go beyond refreshing hardware and software in use. He calls it “Moore’s Law for business,” where instead of only computer speed and capacity doubling every two years, business processes change at a comparable pace. This speaks to the deepening connection between business operations and technology evolution within organizations.

Image: Jacob Lund -
Image: Jacob Lund -


Joao-Pierre S. Ruth has spent his career immersed in business and technology journalism first covering local industries in New Jersey, later as the New York editor for Xconomy delving into the city's tech startup community, and then as a freelancer for such outlets as ... View Full Bio

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