According to Bob Violino in a recent CIO article, “Digital initiatives are not just transforming business—they are also significantly shaking up the requirements of IT roles that support them.” Think about how far trends like cloud technologies, enterprise mobility, and edge computing have evolved in just a few short years. While companies have certainly modernized their training programs in tandem with these innovations, it may not be enough given that some tech positions bear little resemblance to their predecessors of previous decades.
Violino’s piece examines six of the most critical roles “that IT leaders need to consider anew, and skills and training suggestions to help push them from their old focus into a new version that’s more likely to be effective for this new digital paradigm.” Below is a summary of the findings of his examination:
- Business analyst. The scope of a business analyst’s responsibilities has broadened significantly as the IT environment has grown more complex. As Violino put it, “For example, a rollout of an enterprise application might involve dozens of countries and thousands of users. Or an IoT implementation could affect multiple facets of the company and span its entire supply chain.” As such, business analysts must become knowledgeable in all of the technologies underpinning their organizations’ digital transformation initiative, and be comfortable analyzing their deployments and making recommendations to technology and business leaders.
- Security engineer/cybersecurity analyst. It’s stating the obvious to note that guarding against enterprise security threats is a significantly more complex and difficult task than it was just a few years ago. Security engineers and analysts must know how to effectively secure and monitor resources like the cloud, mobile apps, edge devices, and the Internet of Things (IoT), among others, and quite often this may entail additional security certifications or training. In addition, top-notch communication skills are becoming critical for security roles. It’s not uncommon for security measures to be perceived as burdensome by those outside of the IT department, so being able to convey the business impact of security vulnerabilities is an important part of today’s job requirements.
- Infrastructure manager. Innovations such as the cloud, mobile, edge computing, and the other trends outlined above have radically altered the concept of IT infrastructure. According to Violino, “IT environments today typically include cloud services and on-premises systems from a variety of vendors and services providers. As a result, the modern infrastructure manager needs to be especially skilled at vendor and integration management.”
- Systems analyst/systems administrator. Violino suggests that these roles were at the forefront of the reskilling trend, and that most systems analysts and systems administrators today have had to enhance their soft skills in order to be successful. As a result, he expects these positions to be increasingly involved in project management, overseeing the software lifecycle, and similar functions focused on evaluating and optimizing technology’s bottom-line impacts.
- Web developer. As Violino puts it, “Web developers today need to have a good understanding of areas such as modular design, designing for mobile users, and the load speeds required, AI features such as chatbots, voice search optimization, and cybersecurity.”
- Network administrators. As the enterprise network grows more interconnected, complex, and cloud reliant, it follows that network administrators will see their role and responsibilities evolve significantly.
You can read more of Violino’s thoughts on the new skills required for success in the above roles here.