The role of the IT professional has changed more in the last 5 years than most jobs. Cybersecurity is now one of four core IT skills that CIOs say will be necessary for the next generation of IT professionals.
To say that enterprise IT has a skills gap would be the understatement of the year. Companies are struggling to find and hire IT employees that can keep up with the fast-changing landscape of the modern IT department. But given the pace at which sophisticated cybersecurity attacks are happening and the transition to new technology platforms, such as the pending move to enterprise cloud services, it's becoming more and more difficult for organizations to find employees with the right skill set for the job.
According to a recent study by security firm, SkyHigh Networks, 53% of IT departments fully expect to increase their IT budget, with a large allocation focused on increased hiring within the IT department.
These days, however, the IT department needs to reach much farther within an organization than it history has. It can't continue to operate in a silo as it once did. The IT department needs to have a presence everywhere, and it needs to have strong support from the executive team in order to do that successfully. But when it comes to the actual skill sets that are necessary in order to keep companies safe from cyber attacks, data theft, and provide operational efficiency in an increasingly digitized and global environment, there's a lot of room for IT professionals to grow.
According to SkyHigh's research, four key IT skills are going to grow increasingly more important for professionals to gain in order to provide the kind of support that enterprise organizations need these days. Three of these skills (enterprise cloud skills, database management, and big data) have been growing in importance of the last few years. But the final IT skill that nearly all enterprise organizations are looking for is cybersecurity skills - and that's going to be a hard position to fill.
Cybersecurity skills are so in-demand currently that CIOs and IT departments are dedicating large portions of their IT budgets to finding and training highly skilled employees that can help these organizations create detailed cybersecurity preparedness, as well as help educate other company departments on cybersecurity awareness. This isn't a huge surprise given that 2016 saw the most documented cybersecurity incidents ever worldwide. From basic phishing attacks to highly complex government targeted data hacking, the massive influx in cyberattacks is hitting everyone from individuals to major global enterprises.
The cybersecurity IT skills that are most in-demand for enterprise companies are cybersecurity prevention (to help improve infrastructure security) and implementing response protocols for cybersecurity attacks that do hit organizations. Also, with the new GDPR regulations in Europe, as well as the recently implemented New York State Financial Cybersecurity Regulations, IT skills will also have to focus on staying current with cybersecurity regulations and making sure that organizations are compliant with new governmental rules.
For the new generation of IT professionals who focus heavily on cybersecurity preparedness, the sky is the limit. However, unless enterprise organizations start working now to cultivate these necessary skills in potential new hires, it's going to be difficult for organizations to find the IT skills that they desperately need.