These days, however, there seems to be a common unified opinion when it comes to ICT skillsets; rounded and experienced people with organisational soft skills to complement their technical background are needed. Although certain technology skills and qualifications are deemed as extremely important, it is also equally as important that they are complemented with soft skills.
Ergo’s Dave Muldoon spoke to Leslie Faughan from TechPro magazine to explain why these combined characteristics are needed in today’s ICT world.
“We have gone through a period of outsourcing, and managed services providers like ourselves have thrived and garnered a lot of valuable people and their skills. But now we are seeing the beginning of a trend back towards in-sourcing, building teams and expertise that is very focused on the development of the specific organisation and integral to its culture and leadership.”
“We are at a kind of crossroads in ICT in the sense that we are generally still not good at growing our own talent. Outsourcing is great for reducing costs and delegating noncore functions, but it is not conducive to building up the organisation’s own talent resources. There is growing competition for good for talent, as managed services like Ergo are well aware because that is where we invest and compete. We are now seeing — and encouraging — that trend towards organisations building up appropriately skilled in-house teams that can provide the most valuable ICT services directly. That is one of the reasons why DevOps is becoming such an important component as organisations compete and progress by constant change, differentiating themselves from their competitors. Similarly, we are seeing software development teams growing in-house, because that drives innovation.”
Muldoon also says that as a Managed Services Provider, there is no conflict of interest: “That ability — and indeed agility — in the client enables us to deliver better, smarter solutions. Our in-house colleagues will understand the organisation and its culture more deeply while we can provide resources and indeed a degree of objectivity.
That mix of skills and experience also defines the best IT people in many respects. Whether it’s infrastructure or firewall or strategy for the future, they understand the business context. It’s not about simply capturing data, for instance, it’s about creating a good or better customer experience.”
Muldoon believes that the ICT industry is not doing a satisfactory job of encouraging students to enter the field. “A career in IT? The first thing the kids think of is coding and maths and software development — and that’s what they will indeed study in college. Yet everybody already in IT understands what a broad field it really is, with multiple possible career paths to suit individual personalities, talents and skills. We are simply not selling that diversity of opportunity.”
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