Emerging technologies impact many areas of an organization, but their impact on staffing is often overlooked. It would be ideal for public sector organizations, and state governments, in particular, to be able to adopt new technologies and hire the appropriate staff quickly and easily to optimize operations. State government managers face barriers such as a lack of budget, limited resources, minimal training, and unclear priorities—impeding speedy adoption.
While these four are classic roadblocks, state IT pros can help eliminate the challenges, hire the right people for the right jobs, and continue moving forward.
Let’s start with a look at budget allocation. According to the newest SolarWinds® IT Trends Report, 68 percent of survey respondents said their organizations’ tech budgets allocate less than 25 percent of spending to emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), edge computing, microservices, and containers. In fact, according to the report, the top three technologies influencing organizations’ staffing needs are:
Adding to the challenge, 41 percent of survey respondents believe tech pros entering the workforce today don’t have the necessary skills to manage modern, distributed IT environments.
Finally, according to the survey, respondents noted the following barriers to successfully supporting their organizations:
With an understanding of the challenges, what’s the solution? The answer is intuitive staffing. A shift in staffing priorities can have a dramatic impact across the entire organization. Specifically, consider a different type of skillset when hiring new employees—a skillset including effective communication, critical thinking, and similar types of “soft skills.”
A tech pros’ ability to justify technology investments and operations decisions to business leadership is a golden opportunity. A tech pro who is savvy in both technology and communication can far more effectively demonstrate the tight correlation between IT success and business success than a more traditional IT role.
This concept is echoed in multiple recent surveys.
According to the SolarWinds survey, the nontechnical skills tech pros feel are most critical to successfully manage today’s modern IT environments include:
These results are echoed by CIO Magazine’s annual State of the CIO Survey, which revealed the top skills needed for digital transformation were strategy building (40 percent), project management (32 percent), and business relationship management (25 percent). And, according to the LinkedIn 2020 Emerging Jobs Report, the demand for soft skills like communication, collaboration, and creativity will continue to rise across the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) industry.
A technologist with these types of soft skills can far more effectively communicate the value of emerging technologies, help set technology priorities, and lobby for resources for training. In 2020 and beyond, tech pros should be empowered to invest the IT department’s time, resources, and efforts in helping personnel develop the skills expected to have the most impact on their business—even if those skills are adjacent to specific technologies or across multiple technology areas.