Australian companies are operating in a highly competitive environment where they need to build, test, and roll out new or updated solutions to customers faster than ever before. With IT being a very large functional area with many specialisations, the key to successfully leverage technology across the business depends highly on the level of effective collaboration that exists within the IT department.
And yet, independent Robert Halfresearch has identified the need for more enhanced departmental collaboration in certain companies as Australian CIOs rate the collaboration of IT professionals within their department an average score of 7 out of 10.
The increasing complexity of technology means IT departments are juggling many different functions and specialist skills, creating potential challenges when it comes to delivering products and services that cover several functional areas of the tech department. Because of this, Development Operations (DevOps) came into play – a software development and delivery process that brings increased efficiency and collaboration within IT teams.
DevOps is driven by the demand on businesses to deliver results faster, the need for IT teams to work concurrently across different platforms, and the ultimate need to improve the end customer experience. However, with the advantages of DevOps being well-known, of the CIOs we survey on an annual basis, almost one in three (31%) don’t currently have a DevOps approach in place in their IT departments, as opposed to 63% of CIOs who are already building solid foundations for further innovation by successfully implementing DevOps.
With DevOps gradually gaining solid ground in Australia, we’re seeing strong demand and competition for DevOps skilled candidates, particularly for those highly skilled in collaboration and project management. Businesses are also eager for DevOps candidates with ‘big picture thinking’ – that is, the ability to focus on DevOps and digital transformation at a company-wide level.
However, implementing DevOps is not without its challenges. Sourcing IT professionals with the right skillsets is the main challenge of DevOps implementation, according to 41% of the surveyed Australian CIOs – a further indication of the impact the IT skills shortage is having on the industry. Other challenges relating to DevOps implementation include lack of DevOps strategy (38%), lack of central governance (36%), changing company culture/traditional hierarchical structures (36%) and enhancing collaboration within the IT team (27%).
With digital evolution outpacing the supply of new IT skills, most of the challenges experienced by companies in relation to DevOps directly relate to a lack of talent in the area and overcoming these challenges will be pivotal to leverage its success.
While this puts jobseekers with DevOps experience and skills in a favourable position, companies must take proactive measures to attract as well as retain the best IT candidates, including hiring a mix of temporary and permanent professionals, offering competitive remuneration or putting solid career development plans in place before they start.
Andrew Morris is director at specialist recruiter Robert Half.