Talent and culture are critical to digital transformation success, but CIOs will need to get creative when it comes to finding ways of coping with the looming skills shortage in areas like AI and digital security.

Speaking at the opening keynote of the Gartner Symposium on the Gold Coast Senior Vice President Val Sribar said unlike previous technology trends like CRM and cloud computing, the demand for security, IoT and AI professionals may not be met by the market

“While you need the capabilities you might not be able to hire those people,” Scribar said.

Sribar shared a specific example: according to Gartner’s data there are just 25 AI leadership professionals in Paris.

“Thirteen of them might talk to you. Only six are actively looking. Those six individuals sit on the right side of the labour market because on average 11 other potential employers are courting them,” Scribar said.

As well as candidates joining the digital giants, professional services firms and technology companies, Gartner data also shows aggressive hiring of AI talent within transportation, insurance, media, defence and banking.

As a result companies will need to find alternatives to cope with the unmet supply.

“It’s time to get creative with the multi-year talent strategy,” Scribar said.

“Find alternate ways to fill the need: use contractors, renting, sharing, nurture from within, crowd source, lease skills instead of buying them and work with your sourcing leaders to capitalise on external services. Don’t do it alone.”

“You need HR and your HR organisation needs you. CEOs who are making a priority of digital are challenging their chief human resource officers with creating appealing digital workplaces that will attract and retain the best people.

It sounds contradictory, but Gartner suggests AI will help oranisations cope with skills shortages.

The solution you and your HR partner can use together is artificial intelligence,” Scribar said.

“AI will help you find people, it will help you develop people and looking a little further out it will help out augment people by combining the best capabilities of humans with the best capabilities of machine learnings systems,” Scribar said.

“AI is going to automate some people out of work. Starting in 2020 Gartner estimates that 1.8 million jobs will be lost but 2.3 million new jobs will will be created, a net positive of 500,000 jobs.”

Navigating the trough of disillusionment

Gartner believes digital is heading for the trough of disillusionment, as reported by Which-50 earlier this year.

“We are four years into the digital shift and we find ourself at the peak of inflated expectations. If the hype cycle teaches us anything a trough is coming. A digital trough of disillusionment,” Scribar said.

“Boards of directors are getting impatient with slow execution, they are changing executive leadership.”

Gartner identified three strategies to accelerate to digital scale:

  • Digital dexterity: Creating a high performance digital workplace across the entire organisation, not just in IT.
  • Adopt network effect technologies that create “virtuous patterns of growth”. Two promising technologies are blockchain and mixed reality. But for 2018 Gartner recommends focusing on IoT, APIs, and AI.
  • The industrialised digital platform: IT systems to run, customer experience to engage, things to sense, intelligence to decide and the ecosystem foundation to interact.

“These three scale accelerators will speed you through the trough to create value at scale,” Scribar said.

Previous post

Two reasons to analyse what customers say – not just what they do

Next post

Using Machine Learning to Detect Autism