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White Paper: New Careers In Digital And Data

Business, Technology, Internet and network concept

Data Science and Digital Science are on the front lines of the current “technomation” transformations driving and increasing number of the searches that many CIO’s are grappling with.

We are finding businesses rethinking internal organization changes as much as technology changes. A trend to hire CDO’s (Chief Data Officers) is laudable, but often it appears to just delay the inevitable need to rethink the company’s organization chart to accommodate digital and data expertise. For our candidate’s career cases, this is a crucial tipping point. While the demand for their expertise is currently outstripping supply of talent in data and digital science, the sustaining of a career, post hire is still a bit unpredictable at best.

Interestingly, for businesses there is a positive value being created by hiring the right talent to effectively leverage digital technologies and advanced data analytics experts; even though the career paths for them post hire are not certain. And, this is true across industries; we have been engaged in searching for digital and data expertise at a senior level in Healthcare, Energy, CPG and Retail (not to mention the numerous Private Equity ventures cropping up to serve these needs). This means a career focused in leveraging digital and data can be sustainable.

The operative career issue is sustainable. When we talk with clients they inevitably refer to the need to hire to capture value; either on the operations and production side (10-20% reduction in OPEX for example) or on the commercial consumption side (50-100% improvement in bottom line revenue); so, expectations from our clients are quite high. What our best candidates realize is that for all their technical acumen, building business skills is crucial to transforming their great job into a sustainable career. For many client’s this issue is now strong point of focus for long term talent growth also.

It is linkage to the business that will ultimately create the argument for a permanent place in the organization chart for the digital and data expertise. This is further supported by what appears to be a slight but persistent shift in IT budget. Our experience says that as budgets shift, so do organizations. This leads us to another huge area for growth for our consulting clients.

Organizational change, driven by the demand for digital and data expertise, is happening alongside the IT revolution concerning machine intelligent systems and automation. Many of the CIO’s we talk with are excited by these developments, but note that figuring out what to do is followed hugely by empowering their managers to adopt the solutions the businesses are asking for. Our response is that every industrial revolution has resulted in more economy, more employment and an increase in the global standard of living. This “technomation” revolution will be no different. However, for our consulting clients there will be an interesting concomitant increase in the need for consulting around organization dynamics.

Our millennial candidates call this co-botting adoption and frankly they see it to do well and increase their quality of work life. Many also see this as increasing diversity in the workplace, which increasingly is a topic for these candidates as we recruit them. Finally, we get many comments about how this is happening everywhere and more than any other generation technology brings them the world at their fingertips literally. In this case we need to be clear, many of our millennial candidates talk to us about global opportunities, even if done from a free form open office concept location near a coffee house.

Organizational change, adoption of revolutionary technological options, new career paths, diversity and for almost all our clients a sense that opportunity for growth is increasing not decreasing. Also for what it is worth we see this even in the energy sector which faces a period of revolution all its own related to sustained low commodity pricing – itself we think a harbinger of why product value capture needs to be reevaluated.

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