Disruption is no stranger to today’s CIOs. Since the pandemic, enterprise technology leaders worldwide have been dealing with disruptive forces that have driven urgency to innovate at record speeds. With the accelerated pace of technology coupled with new macroeconomic, geopolitical and environmental challenges, the way we work has fundamentally shifted. Flexible, hybrid and remote work arrangements are no longer seen as an added benefit, they are an expected aspect of many roles. And these new expectations make it all the more challenging for today’s leaders to find top talent and fulfill highly technical roles.
Over 650 CIOs worldwide are grappling with these challenges and how they’re navigating through uncertainty and seizing opportunities for growth amidst the changing workforce landscape.
The Hunt for Talent
Sixty-four percent of CIOs have a positive growth outlook for the next 12 months, but that may be hindered by the fact that many organizations are having trouble finding high-value knowledge workers to fill certain roles. When asked about the number one challenge associated with the recruitment and retention of high-quality talent, nearly half (46%) of CIOs said it was employees’ desire for roles to be more strategic rather than functional and mundane. The retirement of seasoned workers and the scarcity of skilled experts in key digital technologies further intensify this challenge. Some of the most in-demand skillsets are cybersecurity, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), with 49% of businesses struggling to find cybersecurity experts and 41% of businesses struggling to find AI and ML experts.
To address this, many CIOs are adopting various strategies, including upskilling their existing workforce, increasing their use of responsible AI and automation for repetitive tasks, investing in hyper-local knowledge and seeking external partnerships to fulfill critical needs that can be handled by others.
CIOs are also exploring ways to attract and retain talent by offering flexible work options. This flexibility not only enhances employee satisfaction but also widens the talent pool by enabling organizations to recruit from a broader geographic area.
Wrestling with Hybrid Work Arrangements
In addition to the talent hunt, CIOs are grappling with the changing dynamics of work arrangements. Hybrid work has become the expected norm for many employees and CIOs are recognizing the benefits, such as increased flexibility, improved work-life balance, and reduced overhead costs. In fact, 71% of companies have some sort of hybrid work arrangement where employees can work from anywhere at least two days a week and 26% of US CIOs are considering closing some, all, or downsizing physical offices as they simply aren’t being used.
However, implementing and managing hybrid work arrangements come with their own set of challenges. Ensuring connectivity for all employees, regardless of where they’re located is a critical component of successful hybrid work arrangements, but 30% of CIOs said their network is unable to deliver on the promises made to employees regarding remote working policies. At the same time, 45% of CIOs said hybrid and remote work has placed increased pressure on their IT teams in terms of ensuring application performance across multiple locations, while another 45% of US CIOs said their IT teams are facing increased pressure in terms of delivering 24/7 support.
To effectively implement hybrid work arrangements, CIOs are leveraging technology solutions that enable seamless collaboration and communication among remote and in-office teams. Cloud-based tools, project management software, and video conferencing platforms are being deployed to facilitate virtual collaboration and ensure productive workflows.
As hybrid work continues to become more prevalent, CIOs are closely monitoring its impact on productivity, employee engagement, and organizational culture. By embracing the opportunities presented by hybrid work arrangements and leveraging technology effectively, CIOs can help businesses navigate the evolving workforce landscape and create an environment that attracts and retains top talent.
Ben Elms, CRO, Expereo