Top Priorities From Tech Leaders: 4 Insights for Advancing Your IT Goals

Top Priorities From Tech Leaders: 4 Insights for Advancing Your IT Goals

The news on the tech job front continues to send mixed messages to both workers and hiring leaders. On one end, tech unemployment rates continue to be below the national average, with some sectors at or near full employment. However, comparing this February to years past, 2024 had the highest amount of layoffs since the Great Recession in 2009.

With so many variables in play, how can the IT industry ensure a successful 2024? At a recent Tech in Motion event (Motion Recruitment’s event series and community platform), a roundtable of tech leaders converged in Dallas, Texas to talk about the challenges they are seeing and how they are planning. Here are some of the takeaways from their discussion.

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1. No matter what level you're at in tech, you need to be learning.

According to Stephanie Rollis, Chief of Staff, Network Product Solutions at Ericsson, the half-life of any technology is around 18 months, so the ability to be constantly learning and evolving is essential for growth in your IT career, no matter how senior you are. In fact, the World Economic Forum stated that by 2025, half of all employees will require reskilling or upskilling due to the adoption of advanced technologies.

Additionally, Benjamen Pyle, CTO at Curantis Solutions, talked about how creating a culture that supports continuous learning is vital. According to one survey, Artificial Intelligence and Data Analysis are the top hard skills people in IT should be looking to improve while people management and communication skills are the most important soft skills to improve upon.

Read More: How to Secure Your Success with Tech Talent in Uncertain Times

2. If you're thinking about implementing AI in your work, know how to best utilize it.

With Generative AI becoming the biggest buzzword of the decade so far, both tech leaders and workers need to do research into the tools and methods that can help them use AI to their advantage. Some of that is trial and error, as Motion Recruitment CTO John Rosenbaum said. “It's not so much about building tools with AI, it's applying those to our jobs. We are an achievement-oriented world, and so when things don't work, we tend to put our heads down. But creating a space where you can try a new tool in a specific way that may or may not work is important and it gives people space to try, fail, learn, and grow.”

One of the best places AI has shown to be helpful is in the software development space, where workers who were using generative AI tools were found to be more productive, felt like they were able to work on more meaningful tasks, and were in a flow state more often versus those that weren’t using AI.

However, those in tech should realize that AI shouldn’t be thought of as a replacement, but rather an enhancement. Pyle said, “In computer science, there is an art to building software that needs to be shipped to a customer. I don't know that you can replace the human experience and a human's ability to relate to other people to empathize with other people in order to build something that's meaningful to another user.”

Rollis added, “Technology evolves and your brain evolves with it as well. If you effectively use those tools you become more effective yourself, with more time to think critically.

3. Companies need to better understand how to treat and use the data they're gathering.

The global CIO and executive VP at Oracle, Jae Evans, said that one of her priorities in 2024 is data control according to a recent article. “As a large enterprise, we have vast amounts of data from disparate sources,” she says. "Leveraging technologies, such as generative AI and analytics, promises to make data both more meaningful and more rapidly available in the right context. Doing so requires a robust data management strategy.”

The importance of improving data strategies was also mentioned in the Dallas panel. Benjamen Pyle talked about the issues at his company and how they are trying to fix them, saying, “We end up creating these silos of data for all the right reasons…So, then you create data silos. We're trying to be Agile, we're trying to reduce time to market, but we didn't do it with that broader perspective. We have to re-unify all this data and bring it back together."

The group also talked about the issue of securing a company’s data. This fear is shared by many in the tech community, with a report saying that 77% of tech consumers are very or somewhat concerned about data privacy and security in their everyday lives, with nearly half (48%) saying it is the most concerning issue affecting the tech industry.

What companies can do is to think of the data they are gathering as a product, not a commodity. Realizing the value of the data a company is gathering can better help guide how it can best be secured and used throughout the business. Also, to get the fullest effects of next-generation technologies like AI, having the fundamentals of your businesses’ data gathering down is paramount. As John Rosenbaum said, “If you want to innovate and take advantage of AI and not get left behind, you need to take your data strategy seriously.”

Read More: Soft Skills Emphasized Now More Than Ever by Tech Managers

4. Understand the importance of people.

Those on the job hunt or looking to take the next step in their career should be looking beyond the hard skills and just doing the work, but finding ways to reach out and connect with others either in the company or in the same skill set. Stephanie Rollis advised, “Find mentors. Be purposeful. These people who you work with, make purposeful connections with them and keep up with them.”

Pyle agreed, saying, “Community is important. Find people who are similar to you and other people who are passionate, and you will grow faster. It will be easier to grow in a pod of people.”

Having mentors in your field can lead to new doors opening that you might have never known, and could also help workers find higher salaries in their careers. A study by Tech Republic showed that women in technology who have mentors saw a 20% increase in salary versus those who didn’t.

Are you looking for a new tech job or want to better understand the current tech landscape? Fill out the form below to download Motion Recruitment's Tech Salary Guide, with salary data for over 100 positions in tech along with insights on how to take your career to the next level. Free to download, get your copy today.


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