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Majority of IT leaders finding hiring workers harder than ever, report finds

Other problems include the interoperability of business and IT teams, with fusion teams a long-term goal for almost all companies

A diverse group of businesspeople shake hands in a boardroom

98% of organisations have skill gaps within their IT departments, and most senior leaders agree that hiring talented IT workers has never been harder, according to new research.

The IT Leaders Pulse Report 2022, which surveyed IT leaders from around the world, has revealed the extent of the talent gap problem in hiring, driven by the so-called ‘great resignation’ of 2020-1. 73% of respondents claimed that hiring within the sector is facing record difficulties, with the worst impacted areas including IT and solutions architecture and cloud and infrastructure management.

To fill vacant roles, and craft more effective teams, companies are increasingly looking to widen hiring search parameters. 80% of the surveyed leaders stated that they are seeking developer candidates from non-traditional backgrounds, as well as investing in reskilling

MuleSoft, a subsidiary of Salesforce, produced the report from interviews with 1,000 IT leaders between June and July 2022, across nine countries.

As company strategies change, and digital transformation becomes a more widely accepted duty, firms are also focusing more on people over technologies and products. 86% of senior IT leaders in the survey indicated that the experience that a company provides to customers and employees alike is of equal importance to the products and services that it offers.

Beyond the problems presented by the skill gap, the report also highlights the widespread problem of friction between IT and business departments. The vast majority (98%) of IT leaders indicated that the relationship and working process between their department and business teams within the same organisation could be improved. 

The creation of fusion teams, composed of employees from different departments working together to improve the efficiency of company processes, appears to be on the rise. 69% of firms indicate that they have either formed or are currently forming, fusion teams while 22% identify the task as a goal to achieve in the next 12 months. The downsizing and combining of teams is in part driven by internal strategy, but also external factors such as the incoming cost of living crisis, which analysts say will necessitate optimisation in IT teams.

Nearly two thirds of leaders say that fusion teams have helped with meeting objectives, increased innovation and boosted the satisfaction of employees and customers.

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However, 62% of UK respondents stated that they are exploring automation to address the skills gap. This highlights the growing degree to which, faced with a talent drain, firms are turning to technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and algorithms to improve the customer experience. Despite the potential benefits of this approach, a majority (81%) of respondents stated that too much focus on leading-edge technologies caused complexity issues.

“Shifting economic headwinds are making technology even more fundamental to success across every part of the business, including sales, service, marketing, commerce, and IT,” said Matt McLarty, global field CTO, MuleSoft. 

“As IT leaders struggle to fill roles to support this additional demand, the traditional playbook is in question. Today's IT leaders must look instead to broader, company-wide process improvements, through automation, that foster innovation, enhance user experiences, and drive efficient growth."

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