12 most difficult IT jobs for employers to fill

The 2020 State of the CIO research reveals organizations struggling to fill cybersecurity, data science and AI roles.

11 most difficult IT jobs for employers to fill
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As we enter a new decade, CIOs continue to shoulder greater responsibility for strategic business tasks, including those related to cybersecurity, data science and analytics and AI/machine learning. With that greater responsibility, comes operational challenges — not the least of which is recruiting and hiring talent with the skills necessary to advance those strategic initiatives.

Our State of the CIO 2020 research, which polled 679 heads of IT and 250 line-of-business IT leaders, revealed that increasing operational efficiency, and improving customer experience are the most significant initiatives driving IT investment this year, cited by 37 percent and 35 percent of IT leaders respectively. Increasing cybersecurity protections (33%), transforming business processes (30%) and improving profitability (24%) are almost among the most important business priorities driving IT spending, according to the survey.

These initiatives, among others, are dictating a shift in talent needs. What remains the same, however, is that the competition for talent just keeps growing stiffer, especially in areas such as cybersecurity, says John McKnight, executive vice president of research and analyst services at Enterprise Strategy Group.

“Cybersecurity has been the perennial top area of skills shortages for the past five years,” McKnight says. “The next top three areas all reflect the need for enterprises to rethink how they design, implement and manage IT infrastructure in services in a hybrid cloud world.”

Following are the 12 hardest roles for IT to fill, according to our State of the CIO 2020 data, as well as insights from CIOs on why these roles are in such strong demand and what their experience has been in hiring for them.

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