Well-qualified IT experts are in short supply

The need for experts in hybrid IT systems is increasing. To be successful in cross-functional teams, they need to hone their skills in project management, leadership, and communication. SAP specialists also benefit from this.

Cloud computing is growing, and as a result the need for experts for the management, performance and security of hybrid IT infrastructures is increasing. Because of the close networking, the roles of technology experts are changing. “While classic IT silos are breaking up, the core competencies for in-house IT systems and cloud environments are growing together,” reports Joe Kim, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Technology Officer at SolarWinds, a provider of IT management solutions. “In order to move the business forward, IT specialists will have to work very closely with management in the future.”

These are the key findings of the study SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2020: The Universal Language of IT. The basis for this is a survey carried out in December 2019 of 150 technology experts, managers, and executives of medium-sized companies in the private and public sector.

Cloud know-how is more important than artificial intelligence

Three results stand out in the study: the dominance of hybrid IT and security, the converging roles of IT experts, and the increasing need for non-technical know-how.

The most important technologies that are currently driving up the personnel requirements of companies are security and compliance with 52 percent of the mentions, cloud computing including software-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service (41 percent), and hybrid IT (31 percent).

New technologies such as artificial intelligence, edge computing, microservices and containers name only 28 percent of those surveyed as the greatest influencing factor on their personnel requirements. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed (74 percent) say that their technology budget is less than 25 percent for new technologies.
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Previously separate IT roles are growing together

According to the study, hybrid IT has created a “universal language of IT” in which the previous roles and silos of technology experts converge and at the same time the complexity is increased by constant or falling budgets and a lack of qualified personnel. As part of the changing roles, the technology experts report an increase in weekly working hours (45 percent), the need to re-qualify existing staff (40 percent), and an expansion of IT staff as a result of new technologies (33 percent) over the past three to five years.

As obstacles, respondents cite a lack of budget/resources (33 percent), unclear or changing priorities (23 percent), poor management and a lack of orientation (11 percent) and the complaint that current IT management solutions meet the needs do not cover functionally well enough (11 percent). Besides, almost half of the respondents (43 percent) believe that technology professionals entering the world of work today do not have the necessary know-how to manage modern, distributed IT environments.

Non-technical skills facilitate teamwork

To master the “universal language of IT” necessary for cross-functional and business communication, IT experts have to sharpen their know-how in non-technical areas. According to the study, this includes project management (59 percent of responses), interpersonal communication (58 percent) and personnel management (50 percent).

These results are confirmed by the annual State of the CIO Survey by CIO, which names the most important skills for a successful digital transformation: strategy formation (40 percent), project management (32 percent) and the management of business relationships (25 percent). These interpersonal skills become more important as technology professionals increasingly communicate and collaborate across previously isolated IT functions.

SAP HANA experts have the best chances

The results of the SolarWinds study should be transferable to the labor market for SAP experts. The good news: SAP specialists will still find a wide range of vacancies. Specialists who have already acquired skills in the SAP Cloud Platform and the in-memory database SAP HANA or who want to qualify in this direction are, particularly in demand. The non-technical skills named by SolarWinds complement these strengths and mediation through duerenhoff ensures that the candidate and the company are a good match from the start.