As the old saying goes, “You cannot hit two birds with one stone.” For the most part of our career and personal lives, this could be true, but in today’s fast-paced world of modern technology, we are all trying to keep up with the world around us. That includes the need for being more flexible and versatile.

At the present-day, technology, IT leadership and IT talents are transforming to meet demands of the ever-changing business landscape which is becoming increasingly data-intensive and, risk-adverse – not just cloud-first but business-first too.

Should business leaders change their approach to IT staffing? Could this be the start of the new era of having more flexible IT professionals – the so-called IT versatilists?

To put it into a perspective, I would like to cite one of Gartner’s Top 10 Predictions For IT In 2018 saying that By 2021, 40% of IT staff will be versatilists, holding multiple roles, most of which will be focused on digital business, rather than technology-related”.

Gartner also predicts that 50% of enterprises will formalise IT versatilist profiles and job descriptions. 20% of IT organisations will hire versatilists to scale digital business. IT technical specialist employees might fall to 75% of 2017 levels.

Gartner went on to say in 2018 and beyond, CIOs will be more accountable than ever for value creation, revenue generation and the development and launch of new business models using proven and emerging technologies.

The key to delivering digital value at scale is having the right people talent. -Gartner

The change I sense here is that IT and technology professionals might be getting out of the server room or “coder cave” per se into blended roles within the business. Let’s take analytics professionals as an example – most of them have already been integrated within lines of business to positively impact the bottom line.

Should universities and technical schools need to radically change IT specialisations to produce more versatilists? Should CIOs consider more wholesale skills transformation to ensure the success of their bimodal and digital business initiatives?

I would love to hear your thoughts on having more versatilists or being a versatilist in the IT industry.

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