Nov 8 2011   8:42PM GMT

Technology staffing gap causes alarming predictions

Christina Torode Christina Torode Profile: Christina Torode

There are some worrisome predictions swirling around technology staffing, or a lack thereof.

Gartner Inc. predicts that because of technology staffing shortfalls, three out of 10 Global 2000 companies will miss their public business targets for “growth that is driven by information and technology.” This prediction reaches as far out as 2016, and that does not bode well for the CIO job.

The Corporate Executive Board (CEB) believes that a business services, not an IT services, organization is the wave of the future. The CIO won’t necessarily be in charge of this shared services organization. A service broker management office, a separate shared services unit or a new position title that does not come from the IT ranks could well be in charge of this function and the staff behind it, according to Washington, D.C.-based CEB.

The demand for people with new types of skills and for IT to drive new business is “soaring,” according to Gartner analyst Diane Morello. “Meanwhile, access and the ability to find and bring people up to speed at the quantity and pace the business needs are staying static,” she said during a presentation at the recent Gartner Symposium/ITxpo in Orlando.

Some CIOs, like Frank Wander at The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America, are focusing on developing and maintaining existing skills. Read more about his strategy to create a “healthy social environment” for the IT knowledge worker.

Maintaining is not enough, however. CIOs need to be prepared to fill a number of new IT roles: collaboration or social media evangelist, service architect, technology broker, cloud integration specialist, information insight enabler, and user experience designer, to name a few, according to CEB.

What is alarming is the disconnect between CEOs’ and CIOs’ staffing priorities. A survey of 350 senior executives and CEOs ranked the attraction and retention of talented people as their No. 2 priority in 2011. A similar 2011 survey of CIOs ranked technology staffing as their No. 6 priority, according to Gartner.

We’d like to hear about your staffing priorities, predictions and advice; email Christina Torode, News Director.

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