The International ICT association IFIP’s International Professional Practice Partnership (IP3) and the Global Industry Council (GIC) has released a global report on the ICT skills needed for ICT professionals around the world by 2020. As the world changes and technology moves at a rapid pace, CIOs and IT managers need to balance this with risk management, while keeping updated with the latest developments. Published earlier in IT World Canada, John Morton, chair of the GIC 2020 report committee commented on the findings. The report has significant relevance to Canada with CIPS as a founder of IFIP IP3.  The report was developed to inform ICT professionals who want to remain relevant as well as the companies that employ them,. The GIC 2020 Skills Assessment Report seeks to ensure that businesses continue to have access to high quality skills to design and implement their ICT systems.

One of the megatrends identified in the report is the impact of changing environments such as 3D printing as the capabilities are increasing exponentially. The printers can produce mixed material circuit boards, human organs, intricate glass objects, a range of consumer goods, food, critical aircraft components of higher quality and durability than current fabrication methods, large structures, transportation vehicles–an endless array of objects. Moreover the speed of production is increasing by more than 100 times with new developments. This  very much influences enterprise planning, operations and processes. For example 3D printing will drive changes in logistics management, intellectual property and new pricing models not to mention the labour market.

The reports goes onto to address critical areas in decision making and provides a new definition of the ICT professional:

“Given the reach of ICT in our lives, it is important for an ICT professional to be technically strong (in order to use the right technology for the relevant problem), ethically grounded (to ensure that technology is put to the right use), socially conscious (so that the technical solution takes into consideration elements of sustainability) and business savvy (to ensure commercial viability which is required for social prosperity and funding of new developments).”

Derived from the report, a sampling of key facts and a question (what are the intended and unintended consequences?):

  • ICT skills shortage
  • ~150 million working in ICT industries
  • Titles include Chief Information Officer, Chief Data Officer, Chief Legacy Officer, Chief Digital Officer, Chief Security Officer
  • Specialized skills required
    • Bioinformatics
    • Health informatics
    • Biometrics
    • Cybersecurity
    • Cybernetics
    • Data Science
  • Changing environments:
    • Data Equity – The value of data internally, externally and the ways in which that information can be monetized. What are the right types of information and ways to get this information to enable business improvement
    • The cloud – The value that it can bring short term and the restrictions that it can bring longer term
    • Automation – Driving new self service capabilities
    • Open source – Growing trend in providing support, customer service and consultancy
    • Integration – need for standards, reliable and trusted systems in healthcare integration in wearables, car info-entertainment, smart metering, industrializing architectures, joining the supply chain across suppliers, and buyers

John Morton, CEO of CPM and a founder of three technology start-ups, was principal author of the report. He delivered a seamless and outstanding Keynote Speech at the Oct 4-7 IFIP World Computer Congress (WCC) IT Job Forum, with the title, “No battle was ever won according to plan, but no battle was ever won without one.” (Title borrowed from a quote by Dwight D. Eisenhower).  The keynote was uniformly very well  received by the audience. This presentation looked at one important aspect of the report, Big Data Analytics, and the need for different thinking to drive the next wave of the ICT Industry.  At the event, IFIP IP3 provided a session on The Development of the Global ICT Profession, which included case studies from various national societies.

The GIC 2020 Skills Assessment report can be downloaded here.


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