Regardless of specific industry segments, IT talent is tasked with continuously monitoring and responding to rapidly developing trends in the sector. Kelly® brings you this concise report about workforce trends that are expected to have a significant impact on talent in the IT industry in 2017. By combining our proprietary research about workers’ needs and preferences with information gleaned during our ongoing conversations with leading IT firms, we can offer highly practical insights into the IT labor market for the upcoming year.
The rapid pace and inverse direction of new technology adoption:
Many of the trends we see in IT share a common backdrop: the rate at which industries and consumers adopt new technologies continues to grow faster today than ever before. Upgrading software and obtaining “next gen” models has become so commonplace that consumers expect to be notified by manufacturers as soon as new versions are available. At the same time, new technology is being adopted inversely. In the past, new developments often originated in the public sector (for example, in the armed forces) before appropriation by companies and finally, by consumers. Nowadays, many developments are driven first and foremost by consumer demand. In 2017, there will be an ongoing need for IT talent to design and develop new technologies, as well as for talent to fill customer support positions.
A proliferation of devices and systems that are integrated with the IoT:
An increasing number of devices and systems, both for consumers and organizations, will be interconnected via the device mesh and integrated with the IoT. The growing need to develop soft- and hardware with capabilities for advanced connectivity, as well as to manage these integrated systems, will exacerbate an already existing lack of IT talent with the right skills and experience.
A sharp increase in the number of apps:
Increased connectivity will result in an increased demand for apps. Public and private organizations will need app developers and designers to streamline how they offer services to their customers. In addition, since 64 percent of IT professionals value flexible work arrangements, a rising number of developers who specialize in app development are likely to work as independent contractors.
Security must keep up with developments:
As the device mesh and the IoT expand, the need to design, build, and manage secure systems will continue to grow.
According to recent research, 68 percent of Americans owned a smartphone; 73 percent owned a laptop or a desktop computer; and 45 percent owned a tablet. With the lines blurring between personal and professional use of these devices, companies must amp up their security measures to protect their systems and proprietary data.
Additionally, with cybercrime on the rise, consumers will need increasingly robust security software. IT professionals who specialize in security will become increasingly sought after by developers of security software and customized security systems. Organizations will also need dedicated security support, either by hiring in-house cyber security personnel or by outsourcing this business function to independent security management companies.
The tech talent gap will shift:
Increased automation will drive another shift in the talent gap, in combination with the ongoing introduction of new technologies. While automation reduces the number of low-level jobs, it’s also creating a demand for mid-level talent to oversee its processes. To a large extent, employers will need to train IT workers to fill these functions, since the technology is likely to be partially or entirely new.
As one result of all these trends, ideally, IT groups today must work together on multiple projects at once and then disband without risk, enabling a “startup” mentality within an established organization. One example of this is found in how Progressive® Insurance sped up the decision process for its customers and increased its conversion rates. They found that when shopping for insurance, agents would visit Progressive’s website, then continue to shop with competitors—leaving Progressive’s site to do so, and all too often, walking away. Progressive boldly decided to simply give shoppers their competition’s pricing upfront, which allowed them to make their decision on the spot.
That’s why forward-thinking companies task small teams of expert talent with simultaneously developing new products. When one product takes off, all of the other teams can be redirected to focus on that project. This means employers need agile tech talent who can quickly follow the lead on new developments and use innovative technologies to create even more products.