The Art and Science of Finding the Right Talent for Your IT Organization

For the chief information officer, matching the right people with the right jobs becomes job-one.

By Steve Little, CIO, Xerox

Chief information officers and their IT organizations are depended upon to advance their company’s ability to grow and remain competitive. With a unique, enterprise-wide vantage point, they must be on the cusp of the latest technology trends that fuel demand in the marketplace, while balancing the need to be pragmatic in their ability to consistently execute and deliver results. While IT organizations have been relied upon to ensure business operations are running smoothly, many CIOs are tasked with transforming the business – reaching beyond IT to accelerate change and make global business possible.

“Innovative thinkers who can ponder up “what’s next in technology,” and bring a different lens to conversations … will be essential in the decade to come.” – Steve Little, Xerox CIO
“Innovative thinkers who can ponder up ‘what’s next in technology,’ and bring a different lens to conversations … will be essential in the decade to come.” – Steve Little, Xerox CIO

As business evolves, our IT talent must evolve with it. But finding the right talent can, at times, be more of an art than a science. It requires the ability to not only see the facts, but also understand aptitudes based on previous performance, and combine that information with plain old gut instincts. We must take a view that encompasses the whole person, not just their SAT scores.

Honing the Right Skills

With mobility challenges on the rise, cloud based services in demand, and the always on, digital world we live in, the expertise and value IT delivers has had to step up. Our new talent pool is vast: The skills our people need today includes:

  • Collect and analyze data for improved business intelligence.
  • Deepen business process expertise.
  • Information security and the user experience.

This list is far from all-inclusive, and it’s changing. With baby boomers retiring and pressure from fluctuating market conditions, the squeeze is on IT to be more efficient than we were yesterday. Our IT professionals must be business savvy, possess entrepreneurial skills and be proficient in project management – reflecting our culture of disciplined execution and delivery. We know that innovative thinkers who can ponder up “what’s next in technology,” and bring a different lens to conversations that require deep problem solving skills, will be essential in the decade to come. Technical skills will always be necessary in IT and so will our ability to identify talented people with limitless potential, as well as the ability to influence…a true differentiator.

Businesses that thrive do so because they have the right employees in place who serve as the backbone for the company’s success. They are committed, engaged and proud of the work they do. And they know how to navigate through internal silos, and collaborate effectively across their networks to get work done.

CEB shared their perspective on this topic in their IT Quarterly Magazine article – The IT Talent Crisis Nobody Is Talking About. “In the next few years, we estimate that six critical new IT roles will emerge, and 97% of existing IT roles will change.”  There will be six new roles.

  • Collaboration and Social Media Evangelist
  • Information Insight Enabler
  • Cloud Integration Specialist
  • User Experience Guru
  • Technology Broker
  • End-to-End IT Service Manager

IT Is the Lever

IT organizations need to be able to guide conversations and look beyond the way things have always been done. We must work outside of our comfort zones, and have greater accountability for the success of our customers and business partners. Sometimes that means saying ‘no’ if you know you can’t deliver something. Most of all, it means having influence to change business outcomes.

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One Comment

  1. Cyndi McLean April 30, 2014 - Reply

    Very powerful and insightful information particuarly in light of today’s XLA Event, Energizing Your Future. Remaining fresh and relevant in light of the changing IT landscape is a key contributor to our ability to deliver secure infrastructure processing services.

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