Building the right tech team can be tricky. These best practices will help CIOs reinvigorate their IT department

SwissCognitiveWhen it comes to developing a successful IT strategy, products, services and vendors can only do so much. If you don’t have the right people in place to bring all those elements together and help to evolve your processes in the future, it’s unlikely your IT strategy will ever get off the ground.

Unfortunately, the growing IT skills gap makes it increasingly difficult for CIOs to staff their IT departments with the necessary talent. Furthermore, for those who are able to fill all their job vacancies, the 2018 CIO Gartner agenda reports that challenges around culture and people continue to hamper efforts to deliver digital transformation.

Here, we outline four best practices to help CIOs overcome these challenges and build the best possible technology team.

Embrace emerging technology

Your business can’t be an early adopter of every emerging technology and in truth, some scepticism and a healthy amount of research before you jump on the latest bandwagon makes good business sense.

However, that doesn’t mean you should sit back and watch every trend pass you by. If something excites you, talk to your team. Is there a business case for investing in the technology? How would it benefit your IT strategy? What value will it bring to the organisation?

BP’s chief digital innovation officer, Morag Watson , has already overseen the adoption of technologies such as robotics and augmented intelligence and is excited about the opportunities quantum and cognitive computing could afford the company in the future.

“Normally, we invest to either accelerate a technology, because without our investment it wouldn’t get to the use case that we could see for it, or because it would give us some business competitive advantage,” she told CIO UK.

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When cloud computing first emerged, many organisations were reluctant to adopt the technology because of security concerns. While it’s right you should exercise some level of caution about emerging tech, if you shun everything not only will your organisation be outpaced by peers but your IT department will be severely lacking in experience and skills.

Upskill your current employees

According to data gathered from 2019 CIO 100, 77 percent of CIOs are finding it difficult to recruit the talent they need to drive transformation. Unsurprisingly, the struggle to fill job vacancies has left CIOs thinking outside the box to help find the talent they need, with many CIOs now using IT apprenticeships or upskilling their current workforce to meet departmental needs.

“Very often it’s easier to upskill them into new technologies and even new languages, rather than bringing in people who have the languages and teaching them about the business and data within the people,” says Southern Water CDO, Peter Jackson.[…]

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