IT jobs changing as CIOs shift their focus from efficiency to innovation

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CIO’s have traditionally played a key role in business leadership, but in the 10 years since the GFC, circumstances required many to adopt a more defensive role, overseeing implementation of regulatory compliance and cost efficiency programs, often reporting to the CFO.

The pendulum is now swinging back, with growing demand for experienced CIOs to drive the business strategy at board level. CIO’s increasingly having a voice in future strategy, often tasked with bringing together fragmented programs across security, innovation, digital, cloud, managed services, data and development; into one coherent vision.  

Specialist C-Suite roles such as Chief Technology Officers (CTOs), Chief Data Officers (CDOs) and Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) are also growing. How they fit into organisational strategy and the scope of their remit varies widely depending on the size, scale and nature of a business as well as the industry sector.  We see instances where a CTO drives the overall strategy in a technology business, while a start-up digital business may have a Chief Digital Officer at the helm.  It’s an evolving picture and one to watch closely over the next few years

While the move to the cloud, managed services and dev/ops technologies has certainly transformed IT teams, as is often the case with outsourcing or automation, we see a change of roles as opposed to a net reduction. For example, there has been a move away from in-house infrastructure roles to technology management roles designed to shape, control and monitor managed services partnerships and vendors.

While systems engineers and help-desk roles have declined dramatically, the architecture space has expanded in their place as CIOs and CTOs, looking to shape their technology strategy to support the business strategy, hire more specialists like enterprise architects, integration architects, solutions architects, data architects and security architects.  We’re seeing this trend consistently at both the enterprise and mid-market level as architecture matures as a discipline.

In response, many strong technicians who now find themselves back in the job market are referencing architecture skills or experience in their resume or at interview.  While this can be a natural career path, it’s important for candidates to have a good understanding of architecture frameworks and their applications, to successfully move into architecture.

We are also seeing growth in development roles and dev/ops roles; with organisations wanting the ability to innovate more quickly and adopt agile practices, by having developers in-house.

With a growing number of women targeting roles in at leadership and executive level, technology teams are also becoming more diverse. Job take-up is one thing, but men and women across the sector agree more leadership training, mentoring and career development is needed to ensure organisations truly benefit from the value of diversity. If you’re a women in IT leadership, please connect with me on LinkedIn.

If you are looking for a better way to recruit or thinking about your next career move, please get in touch.