What's getting CIOs really nervous? Finding people for all the fancy new technology

Accenture's Paul Daugherty says finding IT talent tops CIOs' wish lists.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Overall employment and hiring may be somewhat flat, but IT-related initiatives keep roaring along. That's because everyone realizes how the right technology can keep costs lower, while providing the data and capabilities to keep ahead in today's crazy and unpredictable economy. 


The problem is, since everyone wants good IT, there doesn't seem to be enough talent to go around. And that's making CIOs very anxious. (Or just one more thing to be anxious about...)

Paul Daugherty, chief technology architect at Accenture, recently spoke with the folks at Saugatuck Technology, talking about the things on CIOs' minds right now. "With the vast changes in technology, talent is moving to the forefront as a critical challenge," he says. "This applies to talent to support their existing [legacy] systems to keep the current ship running, but it also increasingly applies to the retooling of talents to support areas like cloud, big data and mobility, as CIOs incorporate these new technologies into their IT organizational roadmap."

Companies are anxious to move into cloud, big data and mobile -- and Accenture itself is wrestling with ways to staff up in these areas to serve its clients, Daugherty points out. "Tthere is a lot of change, a lot of new technologies coming into play very quickly – and one of the things that a lot of clients struggle with is finding the right talent, the right skills to do the work they need to do, which is why they come to firms like Accenture. At the same time, we have to transform and retool our skills and make sure we have the new skills to support the new technologies."

Cloud, in particular, is a key area Accenture has been focusing on -- reflecting trends across the industry, he points out. And the only way cloud will add value to the business is if it addresses data concerns. This calls for skills in handling and drawing insights from data that are more business focused than traditional database administration. "All of the things we are talking about require new approaches, new thinking," Daugherty says. "The way you construct a new system to take advantage of big data is very different than the way you would have constructed an application to use structured query language (SQL), for example. Many of the concepts that people in the industry have been familiar with will need to be relearned, from the new skills around architecture, and the skills around integrating these technologies to the skills around working with the business."

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