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Are You Skilling Up for Future Communications Roles?

In a recent Enterprise Connect blog, EC GM Eric Krapf posed this question for our enterprise IT audience: How is your job changing? You can take some time to mull it over, but he provided the answer, too. That is: “it’s more complex than ever, and it’s changing fast.”
In support of that assessment, Eric pointed to research from IHS Markit on enterprise communications tools showing that users want it all — voice, email, IM, videoconferencing, and team collaboration. This data comes from a 2018 study, in which at least 85% of enterprise respondents named each of these as a communications tool they expected to be using this year. (In the case of voice, as Eric pointed out, the percentage reached 90%.)
I’ll throw in another supporting trend: the industry’s tilt from a hardware- to a software-centric view of communications and collaboration technologies. We took up this trend at Enterprise Connect 2019 back in March, with a mainstage panel discussion among enterprise IT leaders fostering a developer mindset within their organizations.
With innovation a critical competitive differentiator for companies big and small, a developer-orientation is quickly becoming a must, as we heard from one of our panelists, Benn Wolfe, technology lead for communications at Quicken Loans. And, as I wrote following the panel, the company has adopted an Agile methodology for software development, underpinned by cross-functional team, Benn said.
“You can always do better and have more cross-functional teams; you can have more people who are empowered to solve problems and own them from inception to completion. … That's one of the things I really spent a lot of time working out with Quicken Loans, and Quicken Loans empowers all of its leaders to make sure that we're delivering that message to our teams,” Benn told the EC audience.
This panel discussion came to mind the other day while reviewing the 2020 salary guide for technology roles, published by HR consulting firm Robert Half Technology. Developers are among the technology positions in highest demand for 2020 in North America, the firm has found. So too are skills and expertise such as Agile and Scrum, AI, cloud (Amazon Web Services, Azure, Google), DevOps, machine learning, and software as a service, the study shows.
The Robert Half Technology data speaks to Eric’s “changing fast” point, too.
Business and IT needs can’t always wait for hiring professionals with in-demand technology skills and expertise, the firm noted in its study. And so, companies are working on developing their in-house talent. Ninety percent of technology managers responding to its survey said they’re upskilling some or all of their employees, the firm reported.
So, where does all this complexity and change leave you? What skills do you have today, and what expertise do you feel is important to your future in IT? Help us understand how these sorts of issues are shaping your career by participating in our 2019 Career & Salary Survey. You can find the survey here, and if you complete the survey by this Friday, Oct. 18, you’ll have the opportunity to win one of three $100 Visa gift cards, selected by random drawing.