IT’s new flexible workforce
IT’s new flexible workforce

IT's new flexible workforce

IT needs to deliver value to the business by embracing flexibility with new roles, new skill sets and new priorities.

As business and technology strategies become one, IT continues to earn its nickname as the organization’s backbone. However, 64 percent of the organization see a rise in business IT[1] – or “shadow IT” – pushing the evolution of IT’s position in the company closer to its customers. A flexible workforce with new roles and new talent in a decentralized model is imperative for IT to deliver what the business needs most—a premium customer experience. 

A new, flexible IT workforce addresses the following critical business concerns:

Running at market speed with the business. Organizations within almost every industry are deploying digital services and IT needs to be embedded in the business and no longer a centralized component. IT needs to be better positioned to deliver innovative services and solutions while better understanding the business’ external customer and investment priorities.

CIO—from control to influence. The new chief information officer (CIO) focuses on the customer. With a decentralized IT model, the CIO strives to make internal business customers more efficient and helps external customers interact with the business’s services more effectively. This evolving role requires a new skill set with a blend of business and technical acumen.

Automation integration. More than half of the work that’s done on planet earth will be completed by robots or some form of automation by the year 2025, according to the latest projection from the World Economic Forum[2]. As automation takes over large parts of the IT value chain, IT teams will be redeployed for higher value, strategic work, which will require a different set of skills.

Acquiring the right talent. Two-thirds of IT leaders (67%) are struggling to find the right skill sets they need,[3] and developing a flexible operating model can create opportunities for companies to better partner with vendors, incubators and universities to find workers with the required knowledge. Quickly scaling up and down your talent pool with gig—or contingent—workers is critical to filling knowledge gaps.  

The key is flexibility. As new technologies emerge and new skillsets required, the IT workforce will be in constant flux. HR and IT teams must work together to create a great company culture to attract and retain the right talent in a competitive skill ecosystem as well foster ongoing training across the entire organization.

Five immediate actions to workforce flexibility

Creating a flexible workforce of the future begins with a strong process:

  1. Think about the customer experience first, and start to develop and build skills aligned to that value chain.
  2. Explore what the current workforce of your organization looks like and decide how you can attain the scale and agility your workforce needs to stay competitive.
  3. Look to the gig economy. Individuals in the field have the specific skill sets and necessary experience to fit your tech needs.
  4. Think about current and upcoming projects as opportunities to test interactions, new technologies, and business and IT’s new interaction model.
  5. Think about IT and its resources specifically, and how to keep the team motivated and engaged.

As technology infuses into the business strategy, so will the talent. Learn how to deliver a flexible IT workforce able to meet the needs of the business and its customers in our Future of IT series podcast Flexible IT Workforce.”


[1] Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019


[3] Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey 2019