There is a significant IT talent gap impacting organizations today, according to IT Leaders Pulse Report 2022, conducted by Salesforce's MuleSoft business unit.
One of the key findings in the report is that 73% of IT leaders find that hiring IT talent is now harder than ever before. Among the reasons why finding IT talent is more challenging than ever is the enduring impact of the so called Great Resignation. As a result, 80% of IT leaders are now looking to upskill or reskill talent to help fill the IT talent gap.
The challenges of hiring IT talent are having significant impact on IT operations, with 98% of organizations claiming that attracting IT talent has a direct correlation to technology investment choices. Adding further insult to injury, 91% of respondents noted that existing IT processes are a bottleneck to productivity.
"[Companies] are so desperate to attract talented software developers, they are putting fashion above function."
— Matt McLarty, VP of Digital Transformation Office, MuleSoft
Matt McLarty, global field CTO and vice president of the Digital Transformation Office at MuleSoft, was surprised that 98% of respondents say attracting talent is factored into their technology choices.
"Isn't that putting the cart before the horse?" McLarty told ITPro Today. "This underlines the situation many companies are in: They are so desperate to attract talented software developers, they are putting fashion above function."
In McLarty's view, the way to get out of this trap is to empower more people in the organization — not just developers — to become builders of digital solutions. He suggests that leaders start choosing technologies that increase productivity of the organization overall, not technologies they hope will attract unicorn developers.
IT Staffing Challenges Are Likely Endemic and Will Continue
People have been talking about the challenge of IT resources for years, as the population of software developers is tiny compared with the overall population of knowledge workers, according to McLarty.
"It will be endemic as long as companies keep handing over all the work to the coders to build," McLarty said.
A potential solution to the challenge is to make use of low-code/no-code tools that can be used by those abundant knowledge workers to build partial or complete digital solutions that can then be vetted, integrated, and governed by the IT experts, he said. In that manner, McLarty expects that organizations can scale their IT skills.
Why IT Processes Are a Productivity Bottleneck
The report found that process improvements are high on IT leaders' agenda for the next 12 months as existing processes are a bottleneck.
McLarty argued that few organizations really know what their core processes are, what the relationships are between them, and what capabilities they depend on.
"The organizations we've helped succeed in the digital economy not only decompose their processes into core capabilities that can be used in many contexts, they also have tremendous visibility and understanding of their capabilities and associated processes," he said. "Thinking through processes, their dependencies, and their priorities is essential."
McLarty said he expects that in the coming years there will be more use of low-code tools and more employment of fusion teams comprising individuals with different experience and skills.
"I also think it will just be harder to find IT leaders as the organizational landscape is changing, and many organizations are moving away from the tradition of having the bulk of their technologists work in IT," McLarty said.
About the authorSean Michael Kerner is an IT consultant, technology enthusiast and tinkerer. He consults to industry and media organizations on technology issues.