Flourishing Skills

Flourishing: Product management

“As more CIOs move to agile development and away from a ‘projects’ approach, they need people with a blend of technology, business, and leadership skills to bring high impact technology products to market, whether internal or external to the company,” says Martha Heller, CEO of Heller Search Associates.

Flourishing: Cloud and container technology

“One skillset that will be in high demand going into 2022 is cloud computing, specifically configuration, deployment, security, and troubleshooting for cloud services,” says Kelsey Person, senior project manager at technology staffing and recruiting firm LaSalle Network.

Organizations dramatically accelerated and expanded their adoption of cloud infrastructure in reaction to the challenges of the pandemic and will continue to do so in pursuit of digital transformation initiatives which often go hand-in-hand with the cloud. The 2021 Open Source Jobs Report from the Linux Foundation found that cloud-native skills are now more in demand than any other technical discipline. Nearly half (46 percent) of hiring managers are seeking cloud and container technology skills, making this the skill set  most in-demand by hiring managers, followed by the Linux category, for the second year in a row.

In addition to capabilities across the major public cloud infrastructure platforms, skills around Kubernetes and cloud DevOps services will also witness more demand, says Ashwin Venkatesan, vice president, enterprise technology and services at Everest Group.

Flourishing: Leading change

This is “the number-one hot skill” CIOs are talking about right now, says Dan Roberts, CEO of Ouellette & Associates, consulting and host of the CIO Whisperers podcast. It’s also one of the “power skills” identified by Ouellette & Associates in its own research, which separates high-performing technology leaders from the rest. Although many IT leaders and managers understand how to manage people, managing change requires a different arsenal of capabilities, including an understanding of change dynamics, experience with change leadership frameworks and tools, the ability to create a clear roadmap for change as well as structure and processes to sustain it, and the ability to manage the organizational risks, human challenges, and success factors of change initiatives.

“With so many evolving areas, there needs to be a dedicated focus on assessing change across all projects and programs, rather than a siloed approach within each area,” says Melanie Kalmar, corporate vice president, CIO and chief digital officer at Dow.

Right now, too many changes are hitting certain front-line roles at the same time. Better orchestration will lead to better prioritization of projects.

Flourishing: Software engineering

“The demand for software engineers reached an all-time high in 2021 on the heels of the pandemic, and there are no signs of it letting up heading into 2022. In fact, demand for high-quality engineers will likely continue to increase in 2022 as cutting-edge tools like AI/ML, and automation become table-stakes features for growing businesses,” says Christine Spang, cofounder and CTO of Nylas.

Compensation and benefits remain critical components of attracting and retaining developer talent, but training, mentorship, career guidance and growth opportunities, and a culture of innovation are also strong draws. “Organizations are continuing to push beyond traditional modes of operation and adopt new, creative strategies, and developers are behind every step of the application process,” says Person of LaSalle Networks, who notes that Python, JavaScript, C#, .NET, React, Angular, and Golang developers are in highest demand.

Flourishing: Cybersecurity mindsets for all

“As companies move forward on their digital transformation journey, with deep/wide convergence in functional areas such as R&D, manufacturing, engineering, supply chain and logistics – combined with cloud adoption – there are new and evolving threat vectors and attack surfaces,” says Kalmar. “The risk of insider threats continues to grow. Global trade becomes even more complicated as countries continue to enact their cyber security and data privacy laws and resultant data sovereignty aspects.”

The appropriate response to the increased risk and complexity is adopting a “security by design” culture, Kalmar says. “And it will require upskilling and re-skilling around cloud, networks, threat hunting, private/public/government sector collaboration, privacy, and counterintelligence.”

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