Leading the next wave of innovation by attracting and developing Agents of Transformation

Organizations in all sectors are urgently looking to ramp up their digital transformation programs to drive competitive advantage as the world emerges from the worst of the global pandemic. The next era of innovation is gaining momentum, as businesses look to reimagine their applications in response to rapidly changing customer needs and to enable hybrid work models.

It’s no exaggeration that the need for companies to attract, retain and motivate the very best IT talent has never been so critical. Organizations simply cannot achieve their innovation goals without highly skilled technologists.

However, the reality is that digital skills shortages continue to be a major challenge for businesses. A 2021 Gartner survey found IT executives now regard talent shortages as the most significant barrier to adoption of emerging technologies in every IT domain – compute infrastructure and platform services, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation, and storage and database. Talent has become a bigger barrier to innovation than cost, security risks, and integration and implementation challenges.

According to new research, there are huge benefits for organizations that create an environment where technologists can develop their skills and accelerate their careers to become Agents of Transformation – elite technologists with the skills, vision, and ambition to deliver sustainable transformation and leave a positive and lasting legacy.

The research not only highlights the personal contribution that Agents of Transformation provide to an organization, it also reveals the impact these elite technologists have on those around them. They’re able to educate, motivate and inspire other technologists to perform at a higher level. Indeed, 85 per cent of technologists claim that they would like to work alongside more Agents of Transformation.

Evidently, organizations need to be doing all they can to retain, motivate and reward their best talent, and to support other technologists on their journey towards the top of the IT profession. Currently, only 10 per cent of global technologists are operating at this elite level, but the research finds that 88 per cent of technologists believe the pandemic has accelerated the need for more technologists to become Agents of Transformation.

In order to nurture IT talent, employers need to provide their technologists with the right support, culture, and resources to perform at the highest level. They should be focusing on creating an inspiring, inclusive culture and ensuring their technologists have access to budgets that can flex and align with initiatives that will drive the biggest impact for the business. Companies need to demonstrate to technologists that the organization has a clear vision, with technology at its heart.

More than anything else, IT and business leaders should be ensuring their technologists have access to the tools they need to manage and optimize IT availability and performance while also gaining an understanding of the business impact. This is the only way they can deliver the seamless digital experiences that customers and employees now demand at all times. In fact, 93 per cent of technologists say that being able to monitor and observe all technical areas across their IT stack and directly link technology performance to business outcomes is now important to become an elite technologist.

Encouragingly, the research reveals a large number of the professionals are well on their way to accelerating their careers. More than a third (38 per cent) of global technologists are now operating as Digital Pioneers, meaning they possess many of the skills and attributes needed to become an Agent of Transformation. And as they take their final steps along the path, we can expect to see the number of elite technologists swell over the coming years.

Overall, on the back of an extremely tough couple of years, there is now an overriding sense of optimism and positivity among technologists. They’re eager to adopt a proactive and strategic approach to innovation. Across all sectors, technologists are taking responsibility for their own development, recognizing the need to learn new skills and adopt new approaches, particularly as the shift to cloud-native technologies brings greater complexity across a more dynamic and fragmented IT environment.

Employers who create the right environment for technologists to develop and grow will not only go a long way to solving their IT skills challenges, but they’ll also put themselves in a position to get ahead in the next era of innovation. Eighty-three per cent of technologists state that the organizations that focus on attracting and developing Agents of Transformation will become innovators within their industry.

However, they need to act quickly to take advantage of the current mood within the IT department, ensuring that they’re providing their technologists with the support, leadership, and resources they need to perform at their best, wherever they are on their journey to the peak of their profession.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Gregg Ostrowski
Gregg Ostrowski
Gregg Ostrowski is a Executive CTO at AppDynamics. He engages with customer senior leadership to help prioritize their strategy for digital transformation. Prior to AppDynamics, Gregg held senior leadership positions at Samsung and Research in Motion.

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