3 Ways to Give Your IT Organization a Skills Tune-Up

Three CIOs describe how they define and develop IT staff capabilities that keep pace with business needs

From tying core IT competencies to your business strategies, to creating demand by providing context, to offering career-building tools, three CIOs describe how they define and develop IT staff capabilitiess.

Link Core IT Competencies With Business Strategies

Carlos Garcia, CIO, Alvarez and Marsal: With a staff of just over 50 supporting 2,000 employees, our IT department has a rigorous cross-training program to enable 24/7 operations. We must react to IT issues on a moment's notice, and we can't be dependent on one individual to deliver specific support.

Our teams share knowledge and cross-train each other in different technologies so we don't have a group of specialists who can only respond to certain incidents.

We strive to develop our IT training to support the business mission and link our business strategies with our core IT competencies. For example, because the business wants to grow and be flexible, we emphasize innovation in the IT group. We have a large mobile workforce, so we've ensured that IT can be innovative in application development and supporting mobile capabilities.

We have an annual process where we look at what technologies we will deploy the following year. We then decide who will have the primary or secondary role for that technology; if new skills are needed, we put the appropriate training on the employee's development plan for the year. We also engage with our trainers annually to discuss our business strategies so they can help us fill any skill gaps.

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