Mobility will revolutionize IT skill set, says IDC

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SAN FRANCISCO -- Mobile technology, along with cloud services, social businesses and big data analytics, will change the skills for 95 percent of IT roles over the next three to five years, predicts Joseph Pucciarelli, vice president and IT executive advisor at IDC.

The top skills that will be affected by these technologies, which IDC calls the "Third Platform," are in IT management and executive roles. "We developed a whole portfolio of IT management expertise around standing up systems, capabilities and managing this portfolio of technologies and systems ... Now we are going to managing a portfolio of services, which is a completely different skill set," says Pucciarelli.

According to a survey of 131 IT staffing pros, the top five most difficult IT positions to staff are enterprise architecture; business intelligence and analysis; IT management and executives; security; and mobile development.

Enterprises said that they would pay more than a 20 percent premium to fill business intelligence and analytics and security positions, and more than a 15 percent premium to file IT management and executive, enterprise architecture and mobile development positions.

"Mobility is really a new platform that allows us to project our business processes out to the point of transaction more effectively," explains Pucciarelli. "I think with mobility we are not quite as far along. A lot of IT and business professionals don't quite grasp the potential revolutionary impact of mobility," he said.

Enterprises are increasingly going directly to colleges to recruit mobile development staff. "Even two years ago, there was a real shortage of mobile developers ... That has calmed down because the universities have spooled up [those] capabilities. Plus, you have the ability to retool your existing app development people," he said.

The IDC survey found that over 80 percent of IT organizations say that skills for mobile app development and security positions will significantly change in the next three to five years as a result of mobile initiatives.

Pucciarelli offers enterprises guidance to deal with the IT skills changes and shortages:

  1. Assess job roles to determine whether they are currently of high or low importance and whether they are expected to increase or decrease in importance.
  2. Assess which IT roles will be impacted by the third platform and staff for reshaped IT roles. 
  3. Start tackling difficult-to-staff IT roles now by budgeting for recruitment and training of IT staff and support government and educational to develop tech skills.

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