As a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, more and more companies are turning to smart working. This new business approach has obliged those involved in IT to make some specific, radical changes.
Since remote working has become more widespread, companies in search of managers for their growing IT departments have begun to select candidates not just according to their technical knowledge, as was often the case in the past, but also according to their soft skills, such as their ability to communicate and build relationships effectively.
Smart working and changes in the IT sector
Every firm that has had to implement smart working as a routine part of their production process, has had to make changes to their IT department. Working from home has led to of the emergence of several issues, requiring quick solutions. The most significant problems faced by companies include those regarding cyber security, cloud integration of data centres and digital transformation.
Among the three, cyber security has been the area which has undergone the most changes. It has become gradually more focused on prevention, rather than responses to attacks and breaches. This is due to the increase in the number of employees connecting from home, which has led to a significant increase in data flow from outside the company network. In order to protect this information, more efficient measures have become necessary.
Closely connected to the need for improved data protection is the requirement to adequately train non-technical employees, so that they become more aware of IT security considerations.
Companies have also had to strengthen their cloud connected IT infrastructures. In this area too, issues like security and training pose a major challenge as well as playing a key role.
The digital transformation designed to accommodate smart working remains the aspect which has impacted companies the most. It has had a considerable effect on the skills required for roles like IT manger and CIO (Chief Information Officer). These professionals must be able to build effective dialogues with business managers.
The soft skills of the new IT managers
According to a recent survey, the ‘hard’ technical skills which used to be an essential part of any candidate’s application for positions such as IT manager, are no longer considered sufficient by businesses in the era of smart working. The delocalisation of workers outside company premises also requires the following complementary soft skills:
- High-level communication skills;
- The ability to interact effectively with colleagues;
- Good teamwork skills;
- Ability to manage time and stressful situations well.
As well as having completed suitable academic training and possessing documented technical abilities, the aspiring IT managers of today must also be able to demonstrate that they are dynamic, accurate and scrupulous. All these characteristics will help them to take on a crucial role within the company decision-making process.
As studies show, modern IT managers are also actively involved in other company departments, such as marketing and sales, where interaction between the IT department and other areas of business are particularly evident.
The most requested IT professionals
In light of the points mentioned above, it is easy to guess which IT professionals are the most sought-after. Top of the list are cyber security experts, followed by technicians specialised in cloud data management and then system architects. Data scientists, programmers and e-commerce specialists are also highly sought-after.
The general picture of IT outlined above reflects how smart working is encouraging companies to embrace a new approach, with budget being diverted to IT, for both operational aspects and innovation.
Translated by Joanne Beckwith