The next generation of IT departments will be staffed by 'versatilists,' a new caste of twenty-something multi-disciplinary IT workers that will be needed if businesses are to achieve growth in coming years.
That's the view of the team of analysts Gartner used for the keynote of its annual Symposium in Sydney today.
The firm asserted this new type of workers is necessary because today's IT departments are simply not in touch with the kind of services demanded by 'digital natives' the rising tide of Generation Y that is leaving school and heading for the workforce with an expectation, fuelled by an adult lifetime of Googling, that online services will meet their every need.
Tapping into these consumers, the company said, is essential to unlock future growth and therefore to the future of the IT department, which will be called upon to meet their needs by delivering the services they demand.
Current managers, the analysts said, are in no position to understand or define those services, making it essential to recruit a new generation of IT staff in order to access the skills and cultural understanding needed to succeed in the digital age.
That new generation is unlikely to resemble the middle-aged middle managers of today. Instead, the new generation of IT workers will be young, may not have technical skills as their core competency, and will not be content to be managed under 20th century techniques.
It all adds up to change, which Gartner said is now inevitable for the IT department, and must be embraced now, before changed economic circumstances make it harder to justify this kind of investment.