Dec 042013
 

Over the past decade, the world has once again experienced the rapid introduction of a broad spectrum of technologies that hold great promise to those organizations which possess the personnel with the skills to exploit them, as well as great risk to organizations where those skills are missing or are weak. Cloud computing, data analytics, sensors and the Internet of Things, robotics, mobile and social computing, and green technology, to name a few, are the latest technologies organizations are struggling with to understand and apply in a secure manner today. Just over the horizon are not only improvements to each of these technologies (as well as their integration), but also the increasing use of autonomous vehicles including private drones, 3D printing, quantum computing, gesture control systems and wearable computing. I am sure you can add to the list.

An underlying issue of concern is how organizations are going to obtain the workplace skills needed to manage, apply and or develop these recently introduced technologies as well as emerging ones. This in turn leads to a more fundamental question of what skills — both hard and soft — will technology workers as well as technology users need now and for the future. For example, if you had to give advice to a college graduate in the year 2020, what would they need to know to be well-prepared as an effective technology worker or as a business user of technology? Similarly, what about a 30-year old or 50 year-old technology worker or business user today? And lastly, how will executives and managers, from the Board of Directors to the CEO, CIO and CFO to managers at the business unit, program and project team levels be affected?

In addition to improving people skills, organizations themselves also need to think about improving their workforce skills. The trend over the past twenty-years has been for organizations to cut back on their internal training budgets and place the onus on individuals to possess and keep current the desired skills sought. Is this approach still feasible, or even more so as massive open online courses from colleges, universities and others become increasingly available? And how does the move to limit investments in training stack up against what corporate directors around the world claim is their single greatest strategic challenge, namely attracting and retaining key talent?

This issue of Cutter IT Journal seeks insight on what technological, management, and business skills — both hard and soft — management and workers in organizations (private and public sector, large and small) will need in the 2020/2025 time frame. We are also interested in how these skills may differ in different parts of the world. Are the skills needed in the U.S. the same as those needed in India, South Africa, Nigeria, China, Brazil or the European Union? Why are those skills needed and how can they be obtained?

Topics may include, but are not limited to, the following:

* How can organizations improve their workforce skills at every level of the organization to stay competitive in this technology-driven world?
* How can organizations attract and retain skilled workers if training budgets are being cut?
* What kind of skills does a 30-year-old or 50-year-old technology worker, manager or business user today need to maintain a competitive edge in 2020?
* How can a college graduate in the year 2020 prepare him/herself to be an effective technology worker or as a business user of technology?
* What must an executive do to ensure he/she has the proper skills to adapt to and manage evolving or unforeseen technology changes?
* What can organizations do worldwide to retain skilled technology users and workers?
* What technologies are going to require the greatest skill set of workers in the future?

SEND US YOUR ARTICLE IDEA by 20 December 2013.

Please respond to the Guest Editor Bob Charette at rcharette[at]cutter[dot]com, with a copy to Christine Generali, cgenerali[at]cutter[dot]com no later than 20 December 2013 and include an extended abstract and a short article outline showing major discussion points.

Accepted articles are due by 1 February 2014.

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