IT workers need business skills

IT professionals

IT professionals need to brush up on their business skills in order to compete for jobs, according to new research.

The report, from IT recruiter Modis, claims the traditional technological skills needed to work in the sector are just not enough anymore.

"The future for the IT professional is survival of the fittest," said Jim Albert, managing director of Modis.

"Those who embrace broader business skills have access to greater and more exciting opportunities to lead organisational change than ever before, while those that don't risk being pigeon-holed as back office implementers."

The three key skills needed to take on the job market are "greater commercial acumen, strategic thinking and developed communication skills."

The research, which questioned IT leaders from across 110 UK businesses, showed 59 per cent thought IT needed to take responsibility for the challenges faced by the entire organisation. However, only 15 per cent of the departments were considered to be "strategic thinkers."

Adam Thilthorpe, director for professionalism in IT at the BCS, said: "It wasn't long ago that arguments centred on whether an organisation even needed a CIO but reliance on technology is putting the CIO role strategically at the heart of the business."

IT professionals must shed the old stereotype of hiding in the basement and become a more integral part of a business, communicating both with other divisions and with customers outside of the company, the research found.

"The message coming out of our conversations with employers is loud and clear: they want much more than technical and project management expertise," Albert added.

"In short, the future IT professional needs to be a master of many disciplines truly a business all rounder."

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.