‘Business-savvy’ IT execs in biggest demand

According to recent research into the IT sector, employers and hiring managers are increasingly looking for executives with greater multi-skill capability who can proactively outperform their job description requirements.

Based on over 2,100 responses to an Experis Manpower Group-commissioned survey, Australian IT Recruitment Market Insights and Salary Guide 2018, the search for executives who can bring greater skills to the table reflects the speed and intricacy with which mid and enterprise-level businesses are embarking on large-scale digital transformation.

While skills in high demand include problem solving, commercial acumen and an ability to consider the economic bottom-line, so too are a robust knowledge of micro and macro trend and insights analysis, cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI) and risk management.

When asked what they see as the biggest change for the CIO role, almost a third (28%) said it was becoming “more business focused”, while 13 percent said they noticed a greater focus on demonstrating their ability to add value.

Understand how digital technology boosts business performance

While executives with experience managing large transformation projects – especially those focused on cloud-based technology – remain highly sought after, those with expertise in big data, analytics and automation – to help improve business performance – are also expected to stand out in the recruitment stakes.

Given the sheer volume of complex data circulating through and across business networks and borders, it’s also imperative that all IT execs pay more than lip-service to IT cybersecurity, risk management and corporate governance.

With businesses wanting more immediate returns on their investment, survey results also suggest there’s little tolerance for IT executives who might only be 75% ready for the job. Meantime, survey findings also reveal that in an attempt to reduce costs, more entry-level roles are being pushed offshore.

However, given that the pipeline for developing future executive talent remains thin, salaries and rates have continued to climb with or slightly ahead of CPI. Nevertheless, there’s some evidence to suggest that more senior individuals, whose skills may have been rewarded with continuous salary creep, may struggle to achieve a salary match when they next change jobs.

With that in mind, job seekers looking to succeed in this area need to understand, A) the fundamental challenges facing businesses, B) the medium and long-term options in the face of rapidly changing markets, C) how broad changes will affect business strategy, and D) the creative ways that macro trends, including AI, automation and even robotics, can enhance future profitability.

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