EDITOR ’ S QUESTION
HOW SHOULD CIOS GO ABOUT CREATING A CULTURE THAT PROMOTES UPSKILLING , RESKILLING AND IT TRAINING IN THEIR ORGANISATION ?
The IT talent shortage has CIOs in the Middle East scrambling to ensure that their teams brush up on the latest skills and technologies that facilitate business flexibility and agility . should not simply limit themselves to introducing new talent into the IT enterprise fold . They should also collaborate with their C-suite colleagues to recognise and nurture such talent from within the enterprise .”
Among the domains in the highest demand : cloud computing , Machine Learning , data science , software engineering and cybersecurity . A lack of skills and resources has been either the number one or number two obstacle to achieving organisational objectives , according to the past four annual Gartner CIO surveys .
Stephen Gill , Academic Head , School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences , Heriot-Watt University Dubai , said the role of IT has changed radically over the years . Gill said current IT leaders are needed to focus on providing more business value and driving IT ’ s role in the organisation into the future . “ And at the same time , they also need to focus on building the next generation of IT leaders ,” he said . “ Transformational CIOs consider themselves as business leaders and ensure they can acclimatise to changing business environments . This also means that they ensure a highly skilled team is ready to execute business transformation and continuity .”
He said viewing IT as a centralised function is outdated and myopic . “ CIOs should look throughout their organisation when searching for leadership talent . While information system architecture , data architecture , security and network architecture remain central to IT , skills such as business intelligence , automation , Artificial Intelligence , data science and analytics are immensely valuable too ,” he noted . “ CIOs
Osama Al-Zoubi , CTO , Cisco Middle East and Africa , said Cisco ’ s Accelerating Digital Agility Research surveyed CIOs and IT decision makers across Europe , Middle East , Europe and Russia ( EMEAR ), finding that many are looking to maximise investments in digitisation and drive innovation after a difficult year , which inevitably raised the profile of IT leaders in driving critical workplace innovation .
Al-Zoubi said Often , CIOs and IT teams can face internal bottlenecks , largely due to organisational structures which see them largely working in a silo . “ The CIO must be the driving force behind being the face of Digital Transformation in the organisation , but equally , even HR teams have a degree of responsibility ,” he said .
Sajith Kumar , General Manager , Enterprise , Cloud Box Technologies , said : “ I strongly believe it is a joint responsibility for both the CIO and the HR on hiring the right talent with appropriate skills in line with the organisation ’ s business objectives .
According to Kumar , a CIO is able to predict the future IT skills and accordingly HR can look for those skills within the organisation or outside . “ Enable them with the required skills and help them move into new roles within the organisation ,” he said .
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