The Digital Talent Gap Facing CIOs

Nearly 3000 CIOs from around the world recently responded to Gartners CIO survey on technology priorities for 2016. Interestingly this survey shows that over the last 3 years the top priority remains the same - BI/Analytics. The survey also reveals that today’s CIO expects digital revenue to increase from 16% to 37% in the next 5 years, which clearly suggests that digital business has become a key strategy of today’s organizations through which they look to achieve competitive advantage.

In addition, nearly 40% of CIO respondents consider themselves to be the leaders of digital transformation within their enterprise, with 34% of them being the leaders of innovation.  Whilst CIOs may see themselves as leaders of this digital change there is little evidence to show that they are working to plug the talent gap, which they cite as the biggest issue standing in their way of achieving their objectives. This would appear to be the same issue cited by CIOs 4 years ago and is still in need of being addressed.

CIOs may have been highlighting this talent gap for 4 years now – but as leaders of digital transformation within their enterprise they are also responsible for developing the talent they need. Those who are leading through change, driving culture to organically embed digital strategy, and who understand the impact that today’s technology has on consumer trends are more likely to achieve long-term success. In today’s digital era, talent development has never been more important as a means of keeping employees engaged and maintaining a key competitive advantage.

Technology provides businesses with an opportunity to reinvent the employee development experience so it is customized to each individual and their role, and focuses on key leadership abilities instead of narrow job skills, and the employee experience should equally be driven by motivated high-potential employees as well as by their managers.  Given the growing trends in the use of mobile technology and social media, the generation entering our workforce is primed to embrace technology as a key part of their career development.

Gartner’s survey says that CIOs are driving the digital change within their business. If that is the case then CIOs should also be looking at new development approaches and technology platforms to help create a sustainable talent pipeline.