IT talent strategy for 2020 and beyond: New HBR Analytic Services research

What do CIOs need to do now to shape talent strategy for the future? Learn from your peers about how to attract talent, develop critical skills, and build a culture that supports change
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In the decade ahead, technology talent will play a pivotal role in whether companies succeed or fail, according to new research from Harvard Business Review Analytic Services. The time to update talent strategy is now: The year 2020 comes with new challenges and “represents an inflection point for CIOs,” demanding "flexibility and adaptability on a scale not seen in most CIOs’ lifetime.”

“The choices they make now will determine their organizations’ fate for the next decade and beyond,” according to the new research available today: "IT Talent Strategy: New Tactics for a New Era.”

The report identifies five talent practices CIOs should adopt now to ensure their organizations thrive in the future, offering insights from more than a dozen CIOs and talent experts. The lessons examine: 

  • The critical hard and soft skills needed for 2020 and beyond
  • Creative ways to find top talent 
  • New approaches to IT training
  • How to build a learning culture that supports rapid change 
  • How to build an IT brand that attract the best talent

The report also includes real-world case studies on talent strategy from Toyota, Cargill, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, DBS Bank, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Putnam Investments, and more. Among the examples: 

  • Learn why Singapore-based DBS bank hired the co-founder of an Oscar-nominated visual effects company to teach storytelling skills to more than 200 technology and operations leaders. 
  • Discover why the CIO of Cargill, a $114 billion privately-held food and agriculture business, rowed down the Charles River to recruit data scientists at the MIT boathouse.   
  • Find out why Toyota made a strategic decision to deepen its pool of talent by embracing remote IT workers around the world.  
  • Learn why the CDO and head of technology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center devoted his entire training budget to helping his team develop their soft skills.

Download the full report: “IT Talent Strategy: New Tactics for a New Era. CIOs share how to compete in 2020 and beyond.” 

As community manager for The Enterprisers Project, Ginny Hamilton helps build the site's community of CIOs, IT leaders, and readers. She is responsible for helping tell the stories of leading IT executives – showcasing the projects, experiences, and challenges they're facing in their roles as IT leaders.


The HBR study findings are insightful. However, IT innovation will also continue to be created outside of the CIO's domain, so they must collaborate with talented resources that report into LoB leaders. My point: IT talent strategy should include all internal sources of skilled contributors - regardless of the reporting structure. Meaningful and substantive digital transformation requires talent-inclusive strategies.

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