+44 (0)1753 797100 info@logicalis.com

The new skills: Planning for a service orientated future

| 26th January 2015 | No Comments

Chris Gabriel, CTO at Logicalis UK, assesses the extent to which CIOs’ medium term focus on software defined technologies (SDx) and desire to transform IT departments into internal service providers is changing the market for IT skills.

sdn_skillsIn a recent post about SDx adoption, my colleague Eugene Wolf discussed CIOs’ somewhat accelerated SDx adoption plans and, more broadly, their plans to reshape the IT department – creating a new kind of IT organisation capable of supporting businesses focused on buying IT services, rather than owning technology per se.

In this ‘service-defined’ future, he argued, IT departments will act more like service providers – they will focus on maintaining, integrating and provisioning a service portfolio that is absolutely in tune with business need.  Technologies and specialisms like SDx, IT services management, service integration, business analysis and policy management will come to the fore – but what about skills?

How will this new reality change CIOs’ focus when they recruit new staff members?

Eugene considered this back in June, and this year’s Optimal Services Study gives us further interesting insight.  It suggests that alongside and in support of their intention to transform IT departments, CIOs are keen to recruit a new breed of business-orientated IT professional – with the skills required to translate business needs into policy frameworks that can support extensive IT automation:

  • Just 34% of CIOs cite ‘technical skills’ as the top priority when recruiting IT staff
  • The remaining two thirds instead look first at business skills like communication, service management and business analysis, which are top priorities for 28%, 15% and 12% of CIOs respectively.

What’s more, two-thirds (65%) of CIOs are prepared to pay more for the skills required to make the most of SDx solutions – a quarter would pay 5-10% more, and a fifth (22%) would pay 10-20% more.

Indeed, all of the CIOs surveyed in some way recognised the transfer of focus from technology management to business service delivery – this desire to look beyond ‘pure’ technology skills, and pay a premium for business-aligned professionals is a reflection of that.

Of course, recruitment alone will not transform IT departments into service providers – not least because these new professionals are likely to be in short supply.  Rather the CIO operating as an internal service provider must also look to invest in the business skills of existing people and, where necessary, draw on specialist external support where required.

Chris Gabriel

About Chris Gabriel

Chris Gabriel is Chief Digital Officer for Logicalis Europe. Chris joined Logicalis UK in January 2006 to lead the business' focus on defining and marketing its core ‘go to market’ solutions propositions.

With 20 years of experience in the ICT industry, Chris has spent his career working within both systems integration organisations and IT vendors (Logicalis, 2e2, SCC, Cabletron Systems), and has worked for the last 15 years in senior product marketing and market roles in the UK, Europe and United States.

In 2008 Chris became UK Marketing and Solutions Director on the Logicalis UK executive team, and in March 2012 was promoted to VP of Solutions Management at Logicalis Group, where he was responsible for building a common international solutions and services strategy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *