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Report: 'Digital Transformation' Prompting Evolution in IT Roles

Employment is shifting away from typical IT maintenance support jobs, especially as organizations look more toward carrying out so-called "digital transformation" objectives, according to a new report by IDC.

Announced last month, IDC's latest "Worldwide Technology Employment Impact Guide" on full-time employment for the information and communications technology (ICT) sector has its sights set on IT organizational transformation. Exactly what the research firm means by digital transformation (DX) job roles was defined as follows:

DX-related job roles are those that focus on extracting and developing the value and utility of information, making business operations more responsive and effective, accelerating workforce transformation and optimization, applying an omnipresent and multidimensional ecosystem approach to customer experience, and optimizing products, services, and experiences to deliver value to partners, customers, and employees.

It's a shift toward data intelligence roles, according to Craig Simpson, a research manager with IDC's Customer Insights and Analysis Group, in the announcement.

"The IT skill set needed to deliver DX projects is changing, with some of the fastest growing demand for IT roles centered around data and intelligence," Simpson stated. "We are moving away from IT employees being focused around basic IT installation and maintenance roles and shifting toward roles that can build database architecture and functionality to derive intelligence and insights from an organization's DX efforts," he clarified."

The gooey DX term may just be a signifier of corporate aspirations, even as IT departments contend with the basics, such as moving off Windows 7's end-of-support lifecycle next month to stay compliant. IDC's announcement, though, contended that DX-related efforts by organizations are already mainstream.

Currently, 40 percent of ICT job roles are full-time DX jobs, according to IDC. By 2023, IDC expects that number to reach 52 percent.

IDC found the fastest five-year job growth to be associated with cybersecurity jobs at 9.6 percent. On the other hand, traditional IT technical jobs "will remain essentially flat with a 0.1% CAGR [compound annual growth rate]," IDC's announcement indicated.

The announcement listed the fastest growing ICT roles as follows:

  • Data scientist (13.7% CAGR)
  • Machine learning design, development, engineer (13.7% CAGR)
  • Data engineer (12.9% CAGR)

IT organizational change will be critical for organizations, according to Cushing Anderson, program vice president for IT Education and Certification at IDC.

"IT organizational change will be an organizational transformation as critical to the success of the enterprise as DX itself," Anderson said.

All told, IDC expects full-time ICT jobs to reach 55.3 million globally in 2020, which would be a 3.9 percent increase over the 2019 number. The number of ICT jobs worldwide is expected to reach 62 million in 2023, per IDC's numbers.

The largest group in IDC's report is the applications group (software development and management). It's followed by the IT/technical group (with graphics, multimedia and Web design roles) and the technical support group.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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