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This library illustrates some of the research produced in the past. To get started, click on a category on the map below.

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Research categories

IT People & Organization
IT People and Organization Review 2016 4031 IT People and Organization Review, 2016
This annual review of ‘IT people and organization’ practices and plans sets out what you need to know to plan for the year ahead. Key areas for 2016 are reward, the impact of cloud, digital skills, and developing IT people. The Review also focuses on the longer term trends that IT and HR managers need to think about.
IT People and Organization Review 2015 4029 IT People and Organization Review, 2015
A key theme in last year's review is that IT functions are changing: new technology and increased concern with intellectual property means that IT is becoming more technical. At the same time, IT functions are stagnant making development, movement and recruiting entrants increasingly important.
The structure of the IT function
Spans of control in IT 7073 Spans of control in IT: facts and perspectives
Average spans of control are often used as an indicator of organizational health, particularly during delayering. But there are some very real problems in comparing spans of control across entire organizations. Using data from 14 companies, this note explains these issues and provides the average spans of control in real companies.
Global IT organizational structures 5006 Global IT organizational structures: an overview
What constitutes a ‘global’ organization is not often clearly defined. This Background Memo defines the global organization and looks at global models in theory and in practice. It then moves on to the many ways in which IT is organized globally.
IT Centres of Excellence model 5004 IT Centres of Excellence model: the people implications
There has been very little written about IT Centres of Excellence. This Background Memo plugs that gap by providing an introduction to IT Centres of Excellence. It explains the model, the reasons why companies use the model and how to make it work.
The IT function and its people 4015-8 The IT function and its people
The IT function is awash with terminology and organizational intricacies that can be confusing for both newcomers and experienced IT HR professionals. This guide outlines the essentials, focusing on aspects that impact on people issues. It is unique in explaining IT terminology from a people, skills and organization point of view.
Global IT
The global IT HR function 7061 The global IT HR function
The HR teams that support global IT functions face a set of particular challenges; the complex dialogues with IT, a lack of country-based HR support, and a lack of specialist HR support are just a few such issues. This Analyst Note reviews what the challenges are, and establishes ways in which they are being confronted and resolved.
Global job frameworks for IT 7058 Global job frameworks for IT: key points
Designing or reviewing global job frameworks is an important part of the globalization process. This note examines the issues that arise, describes the different approaches companies have taken, and establishes key principles that will help companies to design frameworks more suited to their needs.
Making global IT effective: the employee dimension 7022 Making global IT effective: the employee dimension
Moving your IT function towards a global model can throw up numerous IT people issues. Based on the experiences of IT functions at different points in the globalisation journey, this note lays out the short and longer term issues, and steps that can be taken to overcome them.
IT globalization: people issues 6060 IT globalization
The ‘IT people’ aspects of globalisation are an area seldom visited by others. This report, therefore, represents a significant advance on what is available elsewhere. It looks at targets and progress; people barriers; development needs for IT teams; challenges faced by those in global IT HR and more. It also uses data from Snapshot Research report 6038 to reveal the underlying trends in IT globalization.
IT globalization: people issues 6038 IT globalization: the people issues
What are the people issues that are holding the successful globalization of IT back? The answers, revealed by this quantitative report, are surprising. For example a lack of leadership and people management capability presents more of an issue than cultural or language barriers.
   
Outsourcing & offshoring
Vendor managers: IT’s blind spot 7072 Vendor managers: IT’s blind spot
Vendor management capability is of vital importance in today’s outsourced IT functions. But good vendor managers are in short supply. This note, based on two workshops and private conversations with managers in large outsourced IT functions, summarizes what is required in these roles and how to develop and recruit good vendor managers.
Vendor managers: IT’s blind spot 6051 outsourcing and insourcing update
IT outsourcing is now a mature activity but this study illustrates that it has not yet reached a state of equilibrium. In particular, it is at an inflexion point in some companies where insourcing is now underway. This report looks at these trends, the capability gaps they suggest and, interestingly, employees’ perceptions of outsourcing policies.
People aspects of offshore IT 6039 The people aspects of offshore IT
Offshoring is no longer a hugely contentious issue. The people issues that arise from it, however, are still significant. This report conveys the key facts about what is really happening, and what is really being experienced and planned, in the area of offshore IT, and this impact of this on people.
   
Relationship with the business
Aligning business and IT – the human side 7063 Aligning business and IT – the human side
Business-IT alignment is often discussed in terms of governance, roles and processes. This note looks at the impact of less formal, more human, factors like dress codes, language and location. These aspects may seem superficial but they reflect IT’s role and how it is seen by the business.
Relationship managers in IT 7008-u Relationship managers in IT
The IT relationship manager role is a critical one. Requirements for the role are sometimes pitched at exacting, and largely unattainable, levels. This note summarizes the key requirements of the job and comments on where to find candidates for these demanding positions.
Leadership
IT people strategies and the IT leadership team 7051-2 IT people strategies and the IT leadership team
Few IT functions have set out their ‘people strategies’. But IT functions that have clear principles that govern how employees are managed are much more likely to be able to create fully effective people management practices. This note presents a framework for thinking about IT people strategies.
Leadership in IT - a closer look 6056 Leadership in IT - a closer look
A survey we carried out in 2013 found that IT leaders often struggle most in two areas: aligning people, and motivating and inspiring people. This quantitative survey examines these aspects in-depth and, in doing so, reveals that work building selective capabilities such as listening skills could make IT leaders significantly more successful.
IT Leadership: getting below the surface 6046 IT Leadership: getting below the surface
It is almost a truism that IT managers lack leadership skills. But this criticism is too vague to be of any real use. This Snapshot Research Report examines specific aspects of their performance. In so doing, it provides some useful evidence on steps that can be taken to improve management and leadership capability in IT.
   
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Engagement
Combining autonomy with scale: invigorating the IT function 7082 Combining autonomy with scale: invigorating the IT function
IT functions face increasing competition for talent. How can they contend with exciting tech startups and giants like Google? This note looks at why job design, and in particular the level of autonomy IT employees are given, is a crucial place to start: it effects job satisfaction, recruitment, retention and even productivity.
Getting publicity for your IT function 7076 Getting publicity for your IT function
Positive publicity can make an IT function more attractive both to potential recruits and to existing employees, aiding in recruitment and retention. And many IT functions, such as those in banks, need to ‘get their story out there’ following periods of negative publicity. This Note discusses the practical steps IT functions can take to get positive editorial coverage.
Building IT HR policies around IT career anchors 7066 Building IT HR policies around IT career anchors
Career anchors can form a useful framework for building better HR policies. But what is their relevance to IT? This note, drawing on research by Dr Martin Gubler, explains the concept and examines the career anchors that are most common in IT communities. The results are surprising, with practical and pressing implications.
Employee engagement in IT 7020 Employee engagement in IT: measurement
Engaged employees are more productive employees. And a vital part of improving engagement is measurement. This Note looks at Gallup’s Q12 instrument, and at the potential it has to benchmark IT functions against each other.
Performance management
Communicating the bell curve to professionals 7081-2 Communicating the bell curve to professionals
The ‘forced’ distribution of performance ratings causes a lot of contention. A key question is, how closely should managers stick to the bell-curve, and why? Answering this question clearly and logically can save a great deal of confusion. This Note explores rationally and quantitatively how closely one can expect a target distribution of ratings to be met in practice.
Exiting poor performers gracefully 7024 Exiting poor performers gracefully
Our research found that in IT fewer than 10% of poor performers are dismissed each year. Ignoring the issue of poor performers can have a serious impact on morale. But exiting employees is tough and sensitive. This note sets out how to exit poor performers in a way that reduces the damage to the broader workforce’s morale and productivity.
Measuring productivity of IT people 5002-2 Measuring productivity of IT people
Measuring productivity is a difficult, and inaccurate, process. This Background Memo discusses the methods used to measure the productivity of developers in order to explain why this is the case and why there is no agreed and universally used tool in this area.
Managing performance at work: 10 learning points for IT teams 4007-3 Managing performance at work: 10 learning points for IT teams
Performance Management in IT is a vital but tough task. This is not because of disagreement about methods, but rather their application. This paper offers ten key points for more effective performance management.
Standby pay
Why IT standby pay is falling and what you should do 7057 Why IT standby pay is falling and what you should do about it
Looking at long term data on IT standby pay reveals a surprising trend: compensation is falling in real terms. This is due to technical, social and economic factors that make it easier to be on-call. This note looks at the implications of this for IT functions and will be indispensable for those reviewing their policies.
New developments in IT standby pay 7045 New developments in IT standby pay
How do employers compensate IT workers for being on standby? This was the focus of 7029 IT Standby and Disturbance Pay. This note provides an update on this. Its key message? Large employers should base their standby compensation on hourly rates, rather than the complex arrangements common today.
IT standby and disturbance pay 7029 IT standby and disturbance pay
Standby pay, how it should be organized and what level of compensation should be paid, is an issue that arises periodically in many IT functions. This note examines the practices and experiences of 20 IT functions, showing common practice and offering guidance for those designing or reviewing standby pay structures.
On-call and standby pay in IT functions 6057 On-call and standby pay in IT functions
Standby pay is confusing to manage, partly because of the absence of good comparison data. This Snapshot Report is unique because it presents a quantitative update on what companies are actually paying for standby in the UK and of what they expect in return for that payment.
Reward
Solving the challenge of Broadbanding in IT 7075 Solving the challenge of Broadbanding in IT
Companies sometimes choose to manage pay using broadbanded grading systems. This approach, however, throws up dilemmas for IT. This note illustrates how these issues are addressed in real life. A key point is that broadbanding raises more issues than it solves so, given the choice, IT functions should avoid it.
Bonuses and performance in the IT function 7043 Bonuses and performance in the IT function
During the credit crunch the link between bonus payouts and performance disintegrated. Strengthening this link, this note argues, is of vital importance. It outlines how to do this and examines the reality of bonuses in a number of IT functions.
Team pay in IT: practical conclusions about rewarding teamwork 7025 Team pay in IT: practical conclusions about rewarding teamwork
Team pay is an issue that has been widely ignored. But there are some benefits. This note outlines the practicalities. It concludes that, while at a work-team level team pay may not be wise, linking pay to the performance of the whole IT function is worth considering.
Pay market data: how far can you trust it? 7021 Pay market data: how far can you trust it?
Despite having a large financial impact on companies and employees, IT pay market data is often of debatable accuracy. Understanding the limitations of the data upon which costly decisions are taken is, therefore, extremely important. This note examines the shortcomings of such data, spelling out some ways of minimizing their impact.
Getting more from senior individual contributors 7011-2 Getting more from senior individual contributors
The reward and promotion of senior individual contributors can be difficult as it is all too often based on intangible adjectives. This Note examines the enduring principles around which senior individual contributors’ reward should be based.
IT Reward Survey 2015-16 6059 IT Reward Survey 2015-16
This report presents the results of our survey of IT reward, repeated every November. The facts given here represent by far the most up-to-date picture possible at a critical time in the annual pay cycle. Key questions cover developments in base pay, bonuses, pay issues when recruiting, and managers’ perceptions of pay.
6053-2 Pay for senior IT security jobs an initial study
As IT security becomes increasingly important so too does hiring and retaining competent IT security people. But reliable pay data for these roles is not easy to come by. This survey benchmarks four key IT security jobs. Uniquely, it only includes data from large blue-chip companies, meaning that the resulting figures will be relevant to our members.
Managing reward for the IT workforce 5003 Managing reward for the IT workforce
There are some subtleties unique to IT reward, particularly around standby pay, overtime and shift work compensation, retention bonuses, and skills premia. This Background Memo concisely presents IT specific knowledge that will help general reward experts manage the reward of the IT workforce.
Retention bonuses: the use of deferred bonuses in IT 4001-3 Retention bonuses: the use of deferred bonuses in IT
In the run up to restructuring it can be vital to retain key people. Retention bonuses may seem to be a simple way to deal with this. But there are complexities. Using case studies, this paper outlines how these bonuses are best used.
   
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Recruitment & retention
Using LinkedIn to recruit people into your IT function 7078 Using LinkedIn to recruit people into your IT function
The specialist nature of IT jobs and the fact that recruitment into IT tends not to be en masse throws up some special challenges for the IT recruiter. This note, based on a recent survey on IT recruitment practices and interviews with those who use LinkedIn for recruitment, looks at how best to recruit IT people with LinkedIn.
Retaining IT employees in difficult times 7074 Retaining IT employees in difficult times
IT employee retention has not been a general issue in large onshore IT functions for some time. But history shows that retention can become difficult very suddenly indeed. Effective retention programmes cannot be assembled in a few weeks so careful consideration of the messages in this note could pay off in 2014 and beyond.
Preparing for recovery in IT people markets 7070 Preparing for recovery in IT people markets
After an unprecedented period of reduced activity, what will happen when the market for IT people recovers? Building on experience of earlier recoveries, this note sets out the likely structure of the recovery, and the issues that IT functions will face at each stage.
IT retention 7059 IT retention – making size count
Our research shows that, generally, attrition in large IT functions is significantly lower than that in small IT functions. This Note quantifies this relationship between retention and size and highlights its practical implications. The key lesson for large IT functions is not to fragment their workforce.
Aptitude testing in the IT function 7040 Aptitude testing in the IT function
Many of our members find aptitude tests to be a fast, effective and cost-efficient method of screening out unsuitable applicants early in the recruitment process. But they could also screen the wrong people. This note examines how aptitude tests are used in 12 IT functions, and provides a set of good practice guidelines.
Recruiting non-graduates into IT 7023 Recruiting non-graduates into IT
In today’s IT function, graduate recruitment no longer reigns supreme. Instead IT functions must have many different sources of new IT employees. This note looks at two such sources: apprentices and recruits from the business. It provides real-life examples and learning points.
IT recruitment methods 6050 IT recruitment methods
Recruitment looks to be back on the agenda for many IT functions. This report gets to the bottom of actual practices in IT functions, revealing a surprising mix of practices.
IT Market Tracker 6048 IT Market Tracker
Talk of the market for IT people taking off in a dramatic fashion has caused unease among many IT functions. This quarterly survey tracks any changes to this market, ensuring that members are well prepared for changes to recruitment and retention situations.
IT career sites - what job seekers find 4026 IT career sites - what job seekers find…
Whatever your approach to recruitment, candidates will visit your company career site at some point in the decision-making process. It is therefore vitally important that it is up to scratch. This report presents the results of an investigation of over seventy companies’ IT career sites. The results were sometimes surprising…
   
Graduates & apprentices
Coding bootcamps: their relevance to IT functions 7080 Coding bootcamps: their relevance to IT functions
Coding boot camps are a way to develop coding skills quickly, and thus could offer a useful entry point to IT. This Note analyses the boot camp option and how IT functions can benefit from it. It concludes that this is an extremely useful option that could soon be used to add to graduate and apprentice recruitment.
Accelerated development of graduates for IT 7079 Accelerated development of graduates for IT
How can you quickly develop graduates to become highly capable project managers and business analysts? The Note describes one blue-chip IT function’s answer. While this research was originally aimed to address problems faced by outsourced IT functions, it is relevant to all IT functions that want to quickly and effectively develop graduates.
Apprenticeship schemes for UK IT functions 7065 Apprenticeship schemes for UK IT functions
IT apprenticeship scheme are on the radar of many IT functions. But what are the options, how flexible are these schemes and, most importantly, are they relevant to corporate IT? By examining the early experiences of IT functions that have introduced such schemes, this note answers these questions.
Why graduates don’t choose careers in IT 7033 Why graduates don’t choose careers in IT
Fewer graduates are choosing IT as a career. Opinions differ as to why this is so. This note presents the results of a survey of final year undergraduates. It found that the role and status of IT itself is key in decisions to (or not to) pursue IT careers; many think that IT functions consist only of machines and their minders.
Science & engineering degrees: relevant to IT? 7032 Science & engineering degrees: relevant to IT?
Some IT leaders insist that graduate entrants are educated in science or engineering; they argue that such an education will have exposed them to the advanced use of computers and specifically to computer programming. This note exposes the extent to which this rationale, while once valid, is no longer true.
Tech Industry Gold degrees 7030-3 Tech Industry Gold Degrees
The Tech Industry Gold Degrees are government back degree programmes aimed specifically at the needs of IT functions. These include the IT Management for Business (ITMB) and Software Development for Business (SDfB) degrees. This note gives an update on Tech Industry Gold Degrees and will help employers to understand how they can benefit.
Graduate training programmes for IT functions 7026-2 Graduate training programmes for IT functions
Companies are taking on fewer IT graduates. And these graduates are filling a wider variety of roles. The selection and development of graduates, therefore, is crucial. This note, based on an examination of 25 graduate schemes, provides guidance on how to ensure that you are developing the employees you need.
   
Contractors
Setting freelance IT contractors’ daily rates 7041 Setting freelance IT contractors’ daily rates
Contractors account for a significant part of the IT workforce. But the ‘going rate’ for contractors is not easy to establish. This note examines the market for IT contractors, how market rates are set and the experiences of IT functions in order to establish principles that will helps those setting and negotiating daily rates.
Converting freelance IT contractors to employees 7014-u Converting freelance IT contractors to employee status
How do you convince contractors to accept permanent employee status? This tough task is a popular aspiration but success rates are low. This note stresses that it is first of all important to determine what is feasible, both generally and with an individual. It then sets out steps that will help those facing this mission.
Managing freelance IT workers 7002-2 Managing freelance IT workers
Many companies want to reduce contractor headcount, but high levels remain a fact of life. This Note examines how best to manage this situation, it stresses the value of detailed policies, central co-ordination, and clear differentiation of freelancers and employees.
Contractor pay and management issues 6044 Contractor pay and management issues
Contractors are an area of constant interest and debate in many IT functions. They are also an area where there is a huge disconnect between policy and practice. This survey gets to the bottom of how contractors are actually deployed, paid and managed.
Shift work, flexible work & absences
Flexible work in the IT function 7017-u Flexible work in the IT function
When it comes to flexible work, balancing the needs of workers against business objectives can be a real challenge. This note argues that careful preparation and discussion of proposals, and the use of trials and reviews, is vital if the take-up of flexible working is to increase without it having a negative impact.
Managing sickness absence in IT 7003-u Managing sickness absence in IT
How can you maximize attendance among your IT people? This note provides the figures that will enable you to judge the scope for improved attendance and discusses approaches that will help improve your management of sickness absence in IT.
Shiftworking in the IT function 4012-1 Shiftworking in the IT function: an overview of design and compensation
How is shiftwork best designed and implemented? Very little has been published on this topic leaving delivery managers to struggle on their own. This paper examines practices of IT functions to establish guidelines that will be invaluable to those reviewing shift¬work arrangements and compensation.
   
Resource management
Resourcing the new barrel shaped IT function 7067 Resourcing the new barrel shaped IT function
Hands-on technical jobs are now a rarity in large IT functions. But what impact does this have on IT resourcing strategies? This note provides a framework for understanding the underlying issues. A key point is that, without an internal ‘hatchery’ for growing IT talent, effective selection is vitally important.
How IT resource management works 7048 How IT resource management works
Headcount cuts and restrictions mean that it is increasingly important for CIOs to ensure that their people are deployed effectively. Resource planning and management are important tools in achieving this, and this paper gives an up-to-date picture of what is happening on the ground in IT functions today.
IT resource pools and resource managers 7013-u IT resource pools and resource managers: the reality
The term ‘resource pool’ is often used to describe vastly different practices. This note summarizes the current practices in over 30 IT functions. It concludes that, while best practice in this diverse area is a decision-making process rather than a set of actions, less ambitious plans are more likely to succeed.
Chargeout of people in IT – impact on IT people 5001 Chargeout of people in IT – impact on IT people
This background memo provides an overview of how the chargeout of IT people works in practice. It also covers how composite rate policies, where IT people are charged out at a flat rate regardless of expertise, affect IT people.
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Age & tenure
Age demographics in IT 7064 Age demographics in IT: What lies ahead?
Our research has found that blue-chip IT functions have a significantly narrower, and older, age profile than the broader IT workforce. And this situation doesn’t look set to change. This note evaluates the impact of this, and highlights steps IT functions should take today.
Managing mid-career workers in IT 7047 Managing mid-career workers in IT: some pointers
Mid-career workers form a large and increasing proportion of the IT workforce. But their potential contribution may not be being fully realized. This Analyst Note summarizes what our own and academic research has revealed about the special characteristics of mid-career workers.
Age and tenure: benchmarking in IT 6042 Age and tenure: benchmarking in IT
Low levels of graduate recruitment, changes to pension schemes and more have meant that age and the IT workforce is an issue that has been bubbling away for some time. This benchmarking exercise gets to the facts of the situation in IT functions today.
IT's midlife crisis: age and the IT worker 4013 IT's midlife crisis: age and the IT worker
The average age of the IT workforce is rising rapidly. But what issues does this present? From engagement to productivity to discrimination, this paper examines the challenges. It includes a proven method for forecasting your future age profile.
Diversity
IS top team capability and diversity: the Orange experience 7069 IS top team capability and diversity: the Orange experience
CIOs who both believe in gender diversity in IS leadership teams and have actually made it happen are rare. Pascal Viginier, Group CIO of Orange, is one such CIO. In this note he explains the hows and whys. But when talking with Mr Viginier it soon becomes clear that the importance of diversity goes far beyond gender.
Women in IT - a fresh look 7068 Women in IT – a fresh look
The lack of women in IT is a much discussed issue. Unfortunately there is no ‘silver bullet’ that will result in more women choosing to join and stay with your company. This note, therefore, presents a number of approaches - five tried-and-tested and five new – that will help with the difficult task of recruiting and retaining women in IT.
Women in IT – new thinking on targets 7062 Women in IT – new thinking on targets
The number of women in IT has been static for some time. But a re-appraisal of this data has revealed that the levels of women vary widely between IT functions. This goes against that the idea that low numbers of women in IT is inevitable; employers’ policies, practices, behaviours and cultures have a major effect.
   
Career propositions
IT career propositions: good practice 7049 IT career propositions: good practice
It is not always easy to attract interest from quality graduates. This Analyst Note looks at the propositions being put to potential recruits and how these propositions are presented. It compares what is on offer with what we know actually matters to final year undergraduates and seniors.
Managing your career: a guide for early & mid-career people in today’s IT functions 5005 Managing your career: a guide for early & mid-career people in today’s IT functions
Better career decisions help not just employees but employers. Yet research among IT employees shows that there is much confusion about IT careers. This guide will help IT employees better understand how to manage their careers.
IT career structures: an overview 4021 IT career structures: an overview
Career structures, if used correctly, can help both employers and employees. This paper examines the reality of career structures in corporate IT functions, and discusses how they are developed and what the future might hold. A key message is the importance of linking your career structure to HR processes.
   
The IT workforce
Changing culture in the IT function 7042-2 Changing culture in the IT function
‘Culture’ is often cited as a barrier to change. This Note looks at practical ways of changing IT’s culture by examining the hidden reward mechanisms that encourage undesired behaviours.
Managing IT employee risk: vetting employees 7055 Managing IT employee risk: vetting employees
The consequences of malpractice in IT are growing: should IT workers be put through thorough security screening? This note examines current practices, and the arguments for and against such screening. It concludes that, despite disadvantages, it is only a matter of time before such checks are accepted for critical IT roles.
Features & implications of the ‘new normal’ IT workforce 7046 Features & implications of the ‘new normal’ IT workforce
It is now clear that the IT workforce environment has changed. Low turnover, headcount restrictions, aging demographics, new resourcing strategies and globalization are here to stay. This note presents the salient facts about this ‘new normal’, and proposes actions that IT functions should take today.
NOW in IT: the new onshore workforce in IT 4017 NOW in IT: the new onshore workforce in IT
Changes in technology and resourcing means that some IT employees are seeing their work lives transform. This paper, based on responses by nearly 600 IT workers, examines experiences and perceptions of ‘new’ IT careers.
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Skills frameworks
7083 Injecting clarity into IT role and competence levels 7083 Injecting clarity into IT role and competence levels
When ascending levels of related jobs or skills are set out, the differences between them are often unclear. This undermines skill and competence frameworks, cripples the assessment of people and jobs, and leads to poor decisions. This Note describes principles and practices that, if followed, will make it much easier to set out clear job and skill differentiating factors.
4028 A skills framework for digital 4028 A skills framework for digital
The term 'digital' is quickly becoming a buzzword. What was missing, however, is clarity: what, in practical terms, do we mean by ‘Digital’? And what skills does it require? Rather than generating more jargon, this paper talks through an illustrative application before giving an in-depth assessment, with reference to SFIA and e-CF, of what skills digital requires.
The European e-Competence Framework 7071-2 The European e-Competence Framework – is it any good?
The e-Competence Framework (e-CF) is funded by the European Community and is intended to provide a common language and way of defining IT skills across Europe. This note describes the e-CF, focusing on its potential relevance to large IT functions.
Using the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) 7056 Using the Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA)
Although much is available about SFIA’s benefits and features, there are few practical tips on how to use it. Yet this, not generalized discussions, is what companies actually need. This note provides an independent and practical view on how the model can be used.
SFIA and SFIAPlus 7037 SFIA and SFIAPlus: an assessment
The Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA) is being used increasingly by IT employers and employees to define, benchmark and develop the IT skills they need. This note evaluates the framework. For more on SFIA’s implementation see 7056 Using the Skills Framework for the Information Age.
   
Technology & technical skills
The big data people challenge 7077 The big data people challenge
It is clear that big data brings with it challenging skills issues, but the nature of these issues has been unclear. This note examines the experiences of IT functions and the demand for big data skills. It finds that skills issues are not about quantity but about the bizarre nature of the skills needed. This has fundamental implications for IT functions.
Cloud Computing: the implications for IT people 7054 Cloud Computing: the implications for IT people
Cloud Computing could have a major impact on the resources and skills needed in IT. This note examines the likely reality. It concludes that Cloud has huge potential for smaller businesses but its impact on large IT functions will be limited. But it cannot be ignored as it raises the bar for what information systems can look like.
Open software’s new IT people: can they fit in your IT function? 7034 Open software’s new IT people: can they fit in your IT function?
Open source software tools like PHP, Ruby and MySQL are moving from the small business and hobbyist sectors into IT departments, bringing with them new IT workers with very different backgrounds and expectations. This note outlines the ‘people’ issues that large IT functions should be thinking about.
6058 Big Data: implications for the IT workforce 6058 Big Data: implications for the IT workforce
This report is the latest in a series of three annual papers that explore the impact of big data on IT functions. In 2013, when our first big data survey was carried out, everything associated with Big Data seemed strange and new. Now, aspects of Big Data seem close to becoming ‘business as usual.’ The report sets out skills demand, resourcing strategies and more.
Big Data: an update on the impact on IT people and organization 6052 Big Data: an update on the impact on IT people and organization
Predictions about the impact of big data have been dramatic and, it seems, overstated. This report examines the reality in terms of IT headcount changes, demand for technical skills, and organization of ‘big data’ teams. By focusing on what real people in real companies say, it gives an unvarnished view of reality.
Big Data: an assessment of its implications for the IT workforce 6047 Big Data: an assessment of its implications for the IT workforce
Big Data has received a great deal of publicity, including dramatic stories about its impact on IT people and skills. This report, based on a survey of members’ experiences, looks behind the headlines. It concludes that while there is no sense of crisis, Big Data is certainly on the agenda.
Learning & development
4030 Rediscovering practices 4030 Rediscovering practices
Communities of practice are an excellent way to develop capability in specific IT disciplines. But they are an underused mechanism, possible because there are many different ways to approach practices. This paper gives examples of how practice management works in different IT functions before giving key action points on good practice.
Learning and development in IT 6055 Learning and development in IT
With a wave of new technologies hitting IT functions, and an upsurge of interest in better, livelier ways of learning, 2015 is the perfect time for a survey on learning and development. This report gets behind the headlines to provide an excellent picture of real priorities, and what is actually going on, inside major IT functions today.
How IT managers manage: management style in IT 7053 How IT managers manage: management style in IT
IT managers are often criticised for their management capability. Their management style - how they manage people and how they provide leadership - is an important aspect of this. This Analyst Note describes a framework for thinking about management style within the IT function.
Measuring capability in the IT workforce 7050 Measuring capability in the IT workforce
Assessing the capability of your IT people is a useful but not always straightforward task. This note looks at how one can measure, or ‘rate’, capability among the IT work-force, including tools such as Skills Framework for the Information Age (SFIA).
Executive education options for IT leaders 7035-4 Executive education options for IT leaders
Finding the right IT specific executive education offering can be difficult. This note examines the specialized executive education options that are available for CIOs and other senior IT leaders. The resulting list provides a solid and practical base from which to identify the most suitable offerings.
Online book services for IT 7031-2 Online book services for IT
Technical books are a valued resource used by many technical people, and online book services allow wider access to this material. This Analyst Note looks at how technical people use such services, how useful they find them, and how companies can use them more effectively.
Development and certification of IT architects 7028-2 Development and certification of IT architects
Experienced IT architects are consistently in short supply. Given the difficulties of recruiting them, it is therefore crucial to develop IT architects effectively. This note covers the training available on the market, but shows that internal development is the biggest single part of the solution.
Project managers in IT 7005-2 Project managers in IT
IT projects are widely seen as problematic. This is often the result of poor project management. This note identifies the key steps that will result in significant improvement in project management capability. The key, it finds, lies with assigning accountability.
Developing IT people 4023 Developing IT people: An Ideas Book
There has been much published on learning and development, but there is a lack of information that is specifically about developing technical people. This Ideas Book focuses on aspects of learning and development unique to IT employees making it a valuable resource for both IT HR and IT managers.
Upgrading the interpersonal skills of IT workers 4019 Upgrading the interpersonal skills of IT workers
The interpersonal skills of IT workers are vitally important as roles increasingly involve working with the business, vendors and end users. But the stereotype of the techie sometimes rings true. This paper examines how to improve these all important soft skills.
Talent management
IT talent reviews 7052 IT talent reviews: practices & options
Talent reviews are becoming increasingly popular. They can provide a picture of the potential of individual staff as well as an overview of the talent available in different parts of the IT function. Talent reviews are therefore potentially very beneficial. This note examines how they are run, and provides tips for getting the most out of them.
Applying the nine-box performance-potential grid in IT 7039 Applying the nine-box performance-potential grid in IT
The nine-box grid is a useful tool for talent management. This note examines how the grid has been applied in practice, providing a set of guidelines. A major obstacle is defining what counts as ‘potential’; IT functions must decide on a clear definition of what potential means and how it should be measured.
Identifying employee potential in IT 7038 Identifying employee potential in IT
How can you best identify employee potential? This note focuses on three approaches: the use of less structured or informal frameworks; the use of off-the-shelf frameworks; and the use of custom-built structured frameworks and tools. We found that structured approaches have special advantages for IT people.
Effective job rotation in IT 7036 Effective job rotation in IT
Job rotation can be an effective way to add some movement to stagnant IT functions and to develop talent. But, like many interventionist actions, it is easy to get wrong. This note looks at the experiences of a number of companies, and sets out lessons on how to rotate people successfully.
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