Gartner Research

Succeeding in Tomorrow's Technology Labor Market

Published: 01 May 2013

ID: G00252966

Analyst(s): Lily Mok , Diane Berry, Mark McDonald


The market for IT professionals has become more global, service-oriented and solution-specific. Practices based on recruiting people just like those already in enterprise IT are losing relevance. Future success requires adapting to today's market, not fighting the traditional war for talent.

Table Of Contents


Executive Summary

  • The market for technology labor is not what it used to be
  • Adopt a market mindset, and adapt IT
  • Everyone can succeed in tomorrow's technology labor market

The market for technology labor is not what it used to be

  • IT skills are critical to enterprise and IT effectiveness
  • Today's technology labor market "works" for only one in four CIOs
  • The technology labor market is changing the nature of employment
  • The technology labor market is global, not local
  • Internal hurdles make gaining the right skills more difficult
  • What has happened in the labor market matters to CIOs

Adopt a market mindset, and adapt IT

  • Understanding what's shaping today's IT labor market
  • Demand signals in the IT labor market are mixed
  • Placing greater emphasis on business, transformational, social and other nontechnical skills
  • Incorporating technology automation and services into future labor requirements and plans
  • Enterprise-centric IT is giving way to sourcing of alternative skills
  • Bottom line: IT organizations send mixed signals to the technology labor market
  • Supply is shifting
  • The labor supply is more contingent and less career-oriented
  • A "tacit skills trap" and a "lost generation" of entry-level jobs are major factors
  • University students are increasingly interested in IT, but their readiness is an issue
  • Bottom line: Tomorrow's technology labor supply will be global
  • Current compensation structures reward longevity more than performance
  • Limited performance-based compensation reinforces an image of IT as a staff function
  • Great performers don't earn significantly more than average performers
  • Bottom line: Current IT compensation structures hurt more than they help
  • HR mechanisms treat technology just like everything else
  • Public-sector supply faces unique requirements and challenges
  • The IT market is different from what it was in the past

Everyone can succeed in tomorrow's technology labor market

  • "Ain't gonna study war no more"
  • Sourcing and services compensate and complete the technology labor market
  • CIOs face three technology labor market contexts
  • Success in the market middle requires flexibility
  • Case Study: The Hanover Insurance Group gains the flexibility to create compelling options and opportunities
  • Market takers need to be savvy about services and sourcing
  • Case Study: The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation realigns IT jobs with required technology skills
  • Case Study: Media General combines micro-multisourcing and IT specialization
  • Case Study: i.c.stars builds technology careers and community leaders
  • Market makers use scale demand to justify scale supply
  • Case Study: Wipro makes markets with comprehensive labor planning and development
  • Size alone does not create a market-making enterprise
  • Recommendations for success in tomorrow's technology labor market
  • Conclusion

Further Reading

  • Related content
  • Gartner Executive Programs reports
  • Core research

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