A strong IT workforce starts with training
As more businesses become led by digital strategies and processes, today's workforce have a number of new requirements to deal with. This means that business leaders must make it a priority to incorporate technical training into their hiring and HR strategies.
Writing on the CIO website, Diana Bersohn - managing director of Accenture Strategy - explains that CIOs across the world are driving the advancement of technology across their organization. But that doesn't necessarily mean their workforces are able to keep up.
According to Accenture research, she explains, the majority (87%) of companies think that winning the war on talent will give them a competitive advantage; however, nearly a third (32%) of bosses say they are finding it difficult to compete in that war.
To help resolve the issue, Bersohn spoke to Raymond J. Oral, CIO of CNA Financial, to get his thoughts on the best way to train the IT workforce of the future.
Oral notes that successful companies are the ones investing "a large amount of time" in developing their talent for the future, as these individuals will be hugely valuable when businesses need to adapt to market disruptions.
Upskilling IT workforces should begin with identifying which skills and competencies the company wishes to build, then focusing on attracting newly qualified talent into that field. At the same time, leaders should redevelop their training programs to bring the skills of existing employees up to date.
Bersoshn also offers her her own advice on the matter. Firstly, she recommends that companies take a more targeted approach to upskilling - with online training courses, employees can obtain certifications and even "nanodegrees" in specific areas, such as data analysis or web development.
Secondly, Bersohn reminds leaders hunting for talent about the importance of 'softer' business skills, including flexibility, communication and collaboration. As technology evolves, 'hard skills' may constantly change; but the ability to influence others, adapt to changing processes and work across teams will remain essential.
The final piece of advice she offers is to deliver training and development programs through the channels that best suit an audience. For example, remote workers may prefer online tutorials, while longstanding team members may prefer face-to-face training with their peers. Tailoring training will make it more impactful and successful.