Big data analytics skills in hot demand: CIO survey

Side view of two blurred businessmen talking in conference room

By Freya Purnell
Australian CIOs report that big data analytics is the most needed skill set, with demand almost three times higher than the next-most-scarce skill, development, according to the Harvey Nash 2015 CIO Survey, conducted in association with KPMG.

This year’s survey also saw business intelligence and analytics make the biggest jump up the priority list for CIOs, with over half (54 per cent) setting it as a top priority. Increasing efficiencies was highest on the list of priorities (67 per cent), while improving businesses processes dropped in importance by 21 per cent compared to 2013.

The survey canvassed the views of almost 4000 IT leaders from more than 50 countries, and indicated that many companies, particularly large enterprises, are struggling to manage the changes wrought by digital disruption.

Over half (53 per cent) of Australian CIOs report that digital disruption is causing very digital changes to their business, driving them to create new business models and bring new products and services to market faster than before.

The environment has also seen the growth in importance of the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), with 30 per cent of Australian CIOs now working with a CDO, up from only 5 per cent last year. A further 3 per cent of respondents expect to hire a CDO in the coming months.

“What’s most striking about the results is the speed that change is happening. In the 17 years we have conducted the survey, we have never seen a new role grow so quickly as we have the Chief Digital Officer. We have never seen demand for a skill expand so quickly as we have for big data analytics,” said Albert Ellis, CEO of Harvey Nash Group.

“As technology increasingly becomes focused on the customer, the IT, marketing and operations teams are increasingly working together in new ways. Sometimes it creates friction, uncertainty and skills challenges, but for a CIO with the influence, connections and technical ability to bring it all together, it’s an exciting place to be.”

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