How Digital Transformation is Changing the IT Recruiting Game

Colleagues and job seekers often ask me, as a CIO, what I’m looking for when it comes to hiring. I tell them, “I’m looking for breeders, not animal owners.

My response, while candid, speaks to the changing nature of IT and how digitalization and global government mandates are changing the way we approach our roles. We no longer have the time or resources for one-off “pet” projects without repeatability or component reuse. We need model-based, repeatable, and easily scalable solutions to meet rapidly changing business conditions.

My advice to peers and colleagues is to hire candidates with the skills to focus on economies of scale. Interchangeable solutions that can be replicated to meet any level of service required by your business.

[ Also read Digital transformation: 3 ways a culture of innovation can drive your strategy. ]

IT managers should also look for professionals who focus on automating and developing business processes in the cloud that can be easily turned on and off as business demands rise and fall. This creates seamless maintenance, increased performance, and cost certainty for organizations looking to effectively manage IT budgets.

Where’s the focus?

Business operations and IT must be closely linked to succeed in a modern digital economy. Disjointed priorities and poor communication can quickly lead to failure. To effectively execute any overall strategy, a business needs IT, and IT needs to know what the business is doing to plan accordingly.

As an IT manager, you need to understand some basic business principles and ensure that your team members also understand these concepts and can successfully run programs that lead to positive results.

Here are three that should be at the top of the list:

Revenue management: It is essential to understand the integration of business systems and how income will be reported worldwide. The value and reputation of your business depends on this right.

Data is a company’s most valuable asset. Understanding and protecting it is IT’s top priority.

Capacity assessment: How mature are your systems with respect to scalability, security, disaster recovery, continuity, etc.? ? What are your software development cycles and DevOps processes? Where are the gaps?

Data management: How is your data managed? Who has access to the data? How are process changes impacting the validity of your data globally? Data is a company’s most valuable asset. Understanding and protecting it is IT’s top priority.

The Digitization Factor

Why is all this important? For the first time ever, business is behind government when it comes to implementing technology. To some extent, we have always relied on government entities to lag behind and unable to dictate conditions and deadlines to businesses. Those days are over. Around the world, new standards and mandates are being implemented and enforcement is stronger than ever.

Learn more about digital transformation

Government entities now demand real-time or near real-time data. This is pushing companies to pivot and adopt a centralized approach to their data, systems, business processes and applications. Lack of centralization will lead to lower quality as each country requires data to be formatted uniquely.

This is unacceptable to most businesses, putting additional pressure on IT to quickly understand new mandates and regulations and manage them effectively. Doing this takes skill.

The world is changing rapidly. Businesses depend more than ever on IT, which creates internal stress. Meanwhile, governments around the world are investing in their own digital transformation, creating sources of external pressure. To respond to this changing dynamic, IT leaders must have the vision to strategize and the foresight to hire people who can execute consistently.

Hire breeders, not animal owners. You’ll be glad you did.

[ Discover how priorities are changing. Get the Harvard Business Review Analytic Services report: Maintaining momentum on digital transformation. ]

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