Focusing on these business trends — and talent strategies — could give organizations a competitive advantage

Business leaders are expected to face many critical enterprise technology challenges in the coming year — from security and resiliency to operational efficiency and environmental sustainability.

With explosive demands placed on data and growing investment in technologies, including artificial intelligence, businesses will need experts with the right skillsets to enable digital transformation across complex IT estates in ways that are environmentally sustainable.

“There’s not a shortage of talent — there is an evolving demand for new skills,” said Antoine Shagoury, Chief Technology Officer at Kyndryl.

Organizations must focus on upskilling their workforce and hiring people who can make the most of their data. And as environmental sustainability has become a top priority for businesses, government regulators, sustainability-conscious consumers and billions of everyday people, businesses will seek talent with the necessary skills to advance their sustainability initiatives and embrace collaboration with far-reaching partners. 

Advanced technologies are available today to accelerate sustainability goals. But enterprises need sustainability expertise to solve data challenges and prioritize action. Investing in green skills can help close the sustainability skills gap — and enable the collaboration that will be required to address a global issue.

Faith Taylor

Global Sustainability and ESG Officer

In other words, technology professionals with varied technical skills and a deep understanding of business strategy will be in high demand. 

Here are three important hiring trends that will shape IT workforces in the months ahead:

Trend #1: Businesses will seek technical and non-technical skills to help thwart cyber attacks

Highly skilled cybersecurity experts certainly must understand the technical aspects of protecting an IT estate. But beyond that, they will have to have deep critical-thinking skills and be able to deploy their cybersecurity expertise in the context of a greater understanding of overall business strategy. Call it ambidextrous or heterogeneous, but the days of siloed skillsets — just as the days of siloed IT platforms — are over.

“When it comes to security and resiliency, we need diverse perspectives to anticipate and manage a cyber threat and vulnerability landscape that is evolving quickly,” said Kris Lovejoy, Global Security & Resiliency Leader at Kyndryl. “And that means having the range of thought and experience that only a diverse workforce can provide.”

Trend #2: Businesses will need to manage on-premises and cloud skills to harness the full power of data

Enterprises will have to reassess cloud expenses and their ability to staff their mainframe environments. And as mainframe experts retire, companies must find new ways to capitalize on their IT infrastructure. The mainframe skills shortage will present an opportunity for ambitious technology professionals. On-premises and cloud skills will be critical to maintaining business continuity as enterprises ensure newer technology works in tandem with older assets, which can require expertise in legacy programming languages. Enterprises will choose to invest in talent that has the skillsets needed to connect these increasingly hybrid environments seamlessly.

“In our industry, we tend to focus on perishable skills, like learning the latest coding language,” said Mark Cousino, Senior Vice President of Talent Management at Kyndryl. “But before you learn how to use those skills, you need to know how to think critically and solve problems in a greater business context. That requires a broad and interdisciplinary approach to learning.”

Trend #3: Enterprises will seek to use technological power to advance environmental sustainability

CO2 monitors generate data. But businesses must have the IT systems to aggregate, analyze, manage and protect that data to transform it into actionable information. That requires “big picture” skills that go beyond narrow technical fields. And no single private- or public-sector entity can effect global change alone. Coordination and collaboration to address universal challenges will be key.

“Climate change is a global issue,” said Faith Taylor, Global Sustainability and ESG Officer at Kyndryl. “Organizations must adapt to climate change while also managing the rapid pace of technological change. This will require investment in becoming more data-driven to develop strategies for monitoring and making more informed decisions to advance sustainability efforts.”

Read our report for a deeper dive into the skillsets that will be in high demand for the IT industry in 2024. For additional insights, read our IT predictions for the financial services, retail and healthcare industries, as well as seven other tech industry trends that will define the year ahead.

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