A global Cisco study of 600 enterprise executives from IT and the lines-of-business reveals a high confidence in IT to lead transformation throughout the organization. However, the mandate for IT executives to lead initiatives beyond their traditional roles requires a major expansion of capabilities across multiple fronts.
Our study shows a very real talent gap, which 93% of executives say is preventing them from transforming fast enough. At the same time, efforts to close this gap are faltering. A reimagined talent strategy is therefore critical to IT's own ongoing transformation.
While all skills categories are essential for IT's success, the findings reveal that a lack of business acumen – that is, a deep knowledge of the business, industry, or functional area – is the number one skills gap in IT today.
CIOs are already changing their training and hiring strategies, with leading companies turning to interdepartmental rotations as their top initiative to overcome this shortcoming. Despite proof that increased training leads to greater transformation success, almost half of training budgets are expected to remain flat.
The survey also revealed an increasing reliance on reskilling IT staffs over hiring or outsourcing. The main exception? Emerging technologies, especially for expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
As the war for talent intensifies, successful IT leaders will need to create a culture of continuous learning. Exceptional workers will be drawn to organizations that offer talented colleagues, modernized infrastructures, and opportunities to grow their skills in emerging technology areas.