Hays’ James Milligan discusses the technology skills that businesses should seek out as we enter a new era of ‘hybrid working’.
The Covid-19 crisis has caused shifts to our working practices and transformed industry landscapes beyond recognition. While much is unknown now, what we do know is how integral tech professionals with the right skills are to organisational success.
Certain industries have seen increased demand for the right talent, with VoIP, telecommunications, medical technology and SaaS just a few of the tech sectors that have seen an uptick due to how they are enabling remote working.
Other more traditional sectors that have seen increased demand for tech professionals include healthcare, as companies look to react swiftly to the coronavirus crisis, and supply chain and logistics, with the need to move goods both safely and economically remaining crucial to withstanding the pandemic.
Even if your organisation doesn’t operate within one of these sectors, with remote-working practices set to continue in some form for the foreseeable future as we enter a new working era, securing tech professionals with the skills required will remain key.
Here are some of the skills employers will need to thrive in the new era of work.
Cloud and infrastructure
As the majority of the workforce has transitioned to home working over the last couple of months, cloud and infrastructure skills have, and continue to be, key – particularly within cloud-based services such as AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud.
The use of cloud systems looks set to remain prevalent as lockdowns ease and we begin to move towards a more ‘hybrid’ way of working, and experienced professionals will be required to ensure that organisations are able to scale up or down according to business requirements and to deploy cloud services where needed.
What will also be vital is consistent and reliable connectivity to these services, with the ability to access cloud systems quickly and easily crucial to employee productivity and operational efficiency.
Alongside the increased demand for cloud and infrastructure skills, the tech profession has also seen reliance on cybersecurity, with a vital need for tight security controls to be put in place to protect remote-operating models.
As a good proportion of workers are now using personal devices for work purposes, along with new accounts and increased access to remote systems, company infrastructure is at increased risk of hackers. Actions need to be taken in order to ensure that the VPNs and network devices being used remotely are updated with the latest security configurations.
As a result, top cybersecurity talent – already in high demand – will remain indispensable for employers as agile working practices continue for the foreseeable future.
As organisations race to adapt to different ways of working and practices continue to evolve, data scientists continue to take increased precedence, particularly for the public sector. Looking to data insights for modelling the impact of the Covid-19 crisis will be key, alongside mapping out what a phased return to the workplace might look like.
For data analysis to be used effectively, it must be both reliable and available to the right people at the right time, in order to be used as part of a strategic decision-making process and reduce pressure on day-to-day operations. Professionals who can quickly and accurately interpret data will be crucial for employers as they continue to adopt an agile approach to working practices indefinitely.
As digital transformation accelerates, the demand will heighten for the developers who can build platforms for both employees and customers. This is resulting in increased demand for front-end, back-end and full-stack developers across both Microsoft and open-source stacks.
The speed with which organisations have had to react to the pandemic and its challenges has triggered an acceleration of digital transformation projects. Companies that were already moving away from legacy systems have had to do so now as a matter of urgency.
This acceleration will create ongoing demand for change and project management professionals to help facilitate transformative change. Engaging professionals who possess a combination of technical acumen and the soft skills required to lead a team through digital change will be key for employers as organisations move forward into the new era of work.
James Milligan is director of technology and project solutions for Hays UK, Ireland and EMEA.