Arrival of the agents of transformation
The digital skills gap continues to present a major challenge for businesses in virtually every country, and trends such as the Great Resignation are only exacerbating the problem. A Gartner survey last year found that IT executives now regard talent shortages as the most significant barrier to adoption of emerging technologies in every IT domain – compute infrastructure and platform services, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation and storage and database.
Talent has become a bigger barrier to innovation than cost, security risks and integration and implementation challenges.
Given the fierce war for IT talent, organisations are rightly developing far-reaching engagement and learning strategies focused on their in-house employees, as well as broader digital upskilling programs across the wider workforce.
New research from Cisco AppDynamics, the Agents of Transformation 2022 report, reveals the benefits for those organisations that are able to create an environment in which technologists can develop their skills and fast-track their careers to become Agents of Transformation, elite technologists with the skills, vision, and ambition to deliver sustainable transformation and leave a positive and lasting legacy.
The research not only highlights the personal contribution that Agents of Transformation themselves deliver to an organisation – in terms of driving innovation and delivering flawless digital experiences for customers and employees – it also reveals the impact that these elite technologists have on those around them.
They are able to educate, motivate and inspire other IT professionals to raise their game and to perform at a higher level – indeed, 85% of technologists claim that they would like to work alongside more Agents of Transformation.
Evidently then, organisations need to be doing all they can to retain, motivate and reward their Agents of Transformation, and to support those other technologists that are on their journey towards this summit of the IT profession. Currently, only 10% of global technologists are operating at this elite level, but the research finds that 88% of technologists believe that the pandemic has accelerated the need for more technologists to become Agents of Transformation.
In order to nurture IT talent, employers need to provide their technologists with the right support, culture, and resources to perform at the highest level. They should be focussing on creating an inspiring and inclusive culture and ensuring their technologists have access to budgets that can flex and align with areas and initiatives that will drive the biggest impact for the business. They need to demonstrate to technologists that the organisation has a clear vision, with technology at its heart.
But perhaps more importantly, IT and business leaders should be ensuring that their technologists have access to the tools they need to manage and optimise IT availability and performance so that they can deliver the seamless digital experiences that customers and employees now demand at all times.
93% of technologists say that being able to monitor and observe all technical areas across their IT stack and directly link technology performance to business outcomes is now a critical success factor in becoming an Agent of Transformation.
Analysis of the data also shows that, while only one in ten technologists is currently an Agent of Transformation, significant numbers of technologists are now close to reaching the summit of the IT profession. 38% of global technologists are now operating as Digital Pioneers, meaning that they possess many of the skills and attributes needed to become an Agent of Transformation.
And as they make their final ascent – whether that is improving specific skill sets or implementing new tools – we can expect to see the number of elite technologists swell over the coming few years.
Overall, after a couple of challenging and stressful years for technology professionals, there is now an overriding sense of optimism and positivity. They are eager to get back on the front foot and adopt a proactive and strategic approach to innovation. Across all sectors, technologists are taking responsibility for their own development, recognising the need to learn new skills and adopt new approaches, particularly as the shift to cloud-native technologies brings greater complexity across a more dynamic and fragmented IT environment.
Regional organisations that are able to create the right environment for technologists to develop and grow will not only go a long way to solving their current and future IT skills challenges – they’ll also get a head start on the next era of innovation. Supporting this, is the fact that 83% of technologists believe that organisations that focus on attracting and developing Agents of Transformation will become innovators within their industry.
The takeaway for organisations is clear – they need to act quickly to take advantage of the current mood within the IT department and ensure that they’re providing their technologists with the support, leadership and resources they need to perform at their best, wherever they are on their journey to the summit of their profession.
- Talent has become a bigger barrier to innovation than cost, security risks, implementation challenges.
- Only one in ten technologists is currently an Agent of Transformation.
- Significant numbers of technologists are now close to reaching the summit of the IT profession.
- 38% of global technologists are now operating as digital pioneers.
- Digital pioneers possess many of the skills and attributes needed to become an Agent of Transformation.
- 93% of technologists say being able to observe all technical areas and link technology performance to business outcomes is now a critical success factor.