I recently completed more than 10 keynotes/presentations over the last few weeks. I'm providing a blog series from these keynotes--lessons to be shared. This blog will focus on the SAF (Strategic Architecture Forum) where I gave the results on research of industry trends. The SAF is an invitation-only event for IT architects from typically mid-to-large organizations from all sectors including top global solutions providers. Ruth posted a blog on the Strategic Architecture Forum where I keynoted on the opening day.

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From a career standpoint, where is it heading?

IT Specialists have narrow but deep competencies in one domain or category. IT Generalists have a variety of skills though they are not deep in any one area.

For longer term career growth, the focus will be on multi-skillists or versatilists. This group has multiple deep competencies. They will actively seek a wide range of "challenging" roles in their careers. Over time, they will develop broad experience and be recognized as possessing considerable experience in several domains. They will also demonstrate BAIT attributes. That is an acronym for the IT practitioner possessing: business skills and core industry knowledge; a service-oriented attitude; interpersonal skills; and technical competencies. [Click on the BAIT link for more details.]

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Though outsourcing represents only 12% of organizations right now, with mid-size outsourcing more than large organizations, the area of highest growth at 5.8% annually, is in desktop/networking or in the IT Specialist area. There's also a trend towards Dynamic Environments. This is due to policy and business-rule based real-time dynamic IT service allocation stemming from increasing automation and virtualization. Ultimately, this leads away from IT Specialists.

Demand for IT Technical Specialists will drop over time with IT roles in the future having a business-focus. It's good to start preparing for this trend now!

Best regards,

Stephen Ibaraki, FCIPS, I.S.P., MVP