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Blog February 21, 2019

The 10 Hardest IT Roles to Fill

Having a hard time filling open positions in IT? You’re not alone. Below are the 10 most difficult roles to fill according to the 2018 State of the CIO study:

  1. Security/risk management – 39 percent*
  2. Business intelligence and analytics – 36 percent
  3. Cloud integration – 21 percent
  4. Application development – 20 percent
  5. Enterprise software (ERP and CRM) – 19 percent
  6. Artificial intelligence – 18 percent
  7. DevOps/agile processes – 17 percent
  8. Internet of Things – 16 percent
  9. Enterprise architecture – 16 percent
  10. Cloud services – 16 percent

*Percentages represent the percentage of respondents who said they were having troubling filling roles in each category.

How can we help you?

More businesses are outsourcing at least some of their IT to a managed service provider. In 2017, IDC found that 30 percent of executives outsource at least some of their IT infrastructure and application portfolio. This is expected to rise to 41 percent over the next five years. Below are some of the categories in which our customers rely on us to help them meet their need for people and expertise:

Security and risk management

For many organizations, this category probably includes compliance as well. Not only are these the hardest roles to fill, but they are also some of the hardest roles in which to retain talent. A study conducted by (ISC)², the world’s largest membership association of certified cybersecurity professionals, found that 84 percent of cybersecurity workers were open to new employment opportunities in 2018. 46 percent were contacted weekly by recruiters, regardless of whether they were actively looking for a job.

This shortage of manpower and expertise is just one of the reasons migrating workloads to the cloud can actually improve your security position. But remember, even though leading cloud platforms like AWS and Azure offer sophisticated security features, they all follow a shared security model where the customer (you) is responsible for at least some aspect of security, and ultimately, for the security of the entire environment. That’s where a managed services partner like Connectria can help. We can help you deploy your solutions in the cloud, choosing the features you need to address your specific security requirements. Then, we can keep your system optimized to address emerging security threats and your changing business environment.

Cloud integration

The IBM Institute for Business Value found that 85 percent of enterprises they surveyed were using more than one type of cloud and that 98 percent planned to use multiple hybrid cloud environments within three years.

If you have more than one type of cloud, you need more than one type of cloud expert. There is some cross-over in skills, but even in similar environments, the knowledge needed is different. For example, you can’t assume that your AWS expert is going to automatically know everything there is to know about Azure and vice versa. If you need to manage workloads between clouds, especially if those workloads need to exchange data, things can get complicated quickly. Moreover, the same goes for the migration of workloads between clouds, e.g., when moving a legacy application to the cloud.

Choosing a managed service provider with expertise across multiple clouds can help. Not only can you get the expertise you need when you need it, but you also won’t have to bear the expense of a full-time employee when full-time may not be required.

DevOps Agile Processes

We work with a lot of independent software vendors (ISVs) and internal development teams. One of the things we see – a lot – is developers who don’t have time to develop because they’re too busy managing their environment. This is especially true once they go-live because customers expect a certain level of system availability – right around 100 percent usually. What we tell these customers is “you manage the dev, and we’ll manage the ops.” Essentially, this gives them time to focus on developing the next killer app or innovation that will move your business forward.

Enterprise architecture

This category covers a wide variety of responsibilities. One of the most common areas we can help with is the management of enterprise infrastructures like IBM i and IBM AIX. Open system administrator positions for these platforms are particularly hard to fill. The reason? Colleges and universities have largely stopped focusing on these platforms and there is no longer a fresh infusion of new graduates to fill these open roles.

Cloud services

According to CIO:

“Whether public or private, cloud services enable ubiquitous access to shared pools of configurable and customizable resources offered to customers via the internet. With more and more organizations accessing one or more cloud services, the demand for talent with experience delivering, troubleshooting and managing cloud services is on the rise.”

This category overlaps with DevOps in that it involves managing the actual delivery of these services. You can develop the most incredible app on the market, but we’re living in the customer experience era. If your end-users can’t get access to the app or uptime is unreliable, all your hard work will be for naught.

Attitude is as important as aptitude

In the end, any hiring manager will tell you that it’s just as important to find someone with the right cultural fit as it is to find someone with the right skill sets. We’ve taken a No Jerk’s Allowed stance since our founding in 1996. No question is too small, no concern too trivial. Every one of our people treats our customers – and each other – with respect and dignity. Ultimately, this approach has paid off.

Contact Connectria if you think we might be able to help you address a shortage of people and expertise in your IT organization. We’ve been voted one of the “best places to work” over a dozen times. This has allowed us to attract and retain the type of talent our customers are looking for. Happier employees provide better service.

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