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Gartner: IT needs business leaders not technologists

Technical aptitude will not be enough for IT professionals to secure employment as firms seek more versatile staff in the future, analyst Gartner has warned.

Gartner predicts that by 2010 IT departments in medium-sized and large companies will be 30% smaller than today, with six out of 10 IT professionals holding business-facing roles.

To meet these requirements, employers will be looking for a new type of employee, dubbed the “versatilist”, who will have local knowledge, knowledge of industry processes and leadership ability as well as technical aptitude.

Gartner predicts that IT professionals will be called upon to show they understand the business in which they work – including the industry, its core processes, customer base, regulatory environment, culture and constraints.

Diane Morello, vice-president of research at Gartner, said, “If the last decade represented the era of specialists, this decade will mark the era of the versatilist.”

She added: “Versatilists are people whose numerous roles, assignments and experiences are enabling them to synthesise knowledge and context to fuel business value.

“IT professionals should decide now if they wish to remain in the realm of pure technology or redirect themselves to new domains of expertise and develop practical experiences in industries, market segments and core business processes that would help them in that domain.”


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