May 24, 2024

Building Winning Technology Teams In Today’s Tech Landscape

Aaron Skonnard, Cofounder and CEO, Pluralsight.

In today’s tech landscape, the rate of technological change is rapidly outpacing workers’ ability to learn new skills. This phenomenon creates skills gaps that impede innovation, slow down software delivery times and leave organizations vulnerable to security threats.

This technological explosion, coupled with a period of economic downturn that has been particularly detrimental for tech organizations, has only exacerbated these skill gaps. The result? Tech teams continue to be asked to do more with less. In the current economic environment, it may be tempting to restrict learning and development budgets, but instead, organizations should lean into upskilling their workforce. In fact, many organizations today are already doing this. Research from my company shows that, despite the economic downturn, 72% of tech leaders actually plan to increase their investment in tech skills development.

So what should tech teams do in order to stave off the ever-growing skills gaps in their organization and make the best use of their increased tech skills budget? Here are three tech upskilling areas that tech leaders should invest in over the coming months to create a winning technology team.

Leaning Into Generative AI

In the past few months, navigating generative AI solutions such as Chat GPT in the workplace has become a board-room-level conversation. Because generative AI has significant implications for the world of work, there has been an understandable level of concern over the potential for AI to seriously disrupt technologists’ roles.

However, like anything in tech, adopting a growth mindset and figuring out how to best harness technological change has always been an advantage. AI has the capacity to aid in a myriad of technology tasks such as generating code, automating cloud infrastructure management and identifying threat patterns. All of these functions, if used correctly, have the potential to greatly streamline the workload of busy technologists. For lean technology teams that are being asked to produce results at an increased rate, generative AI is particularly useful.

Though AI is known for its user-friendly interfaces, tech workers must still be skilled in order to make the most of these technologies. For one thing, AI does not always have accurate outputs. Technologists must still have the skills and knowledge to discern whether or not the information they are getting from generative AI is correct and how to fix it if they are receiving incorrect information. Additionally, it takes inherent technological skills to make the most of what AI tools have to offer. Someone with no technical background can’t expect to effectively use Chat GPT to make them a cloud engineer overnight, for example.

The key to navigating the brave new world of generative AI is to embrace it with a learner’s mindset. This means seeking out purpose-built upskilling solutions that help your teams make sense of AI and its potential use cases for your organization. The best technology teams are the ones who will leverage innovations like generative AI to automate simple tasks and help solve complex problems.

Maturing Into Multicloud loud adoption has continued to skyrocket in the past decade. Today, a majority of organizations are using cloud strategies in some capacity. However, winning technology teams have moved beyond the phase of cloud adoption and into focusing on cloud maturity. By cloud maturity, I mean that organizations are not only actively building new features in the cloud but have nuanced cloud management strategies that are enabling them to get the most out of their cloud investments.

Cloud maturity often comes with multi-cloud strategies—or the use of more than one cloud provider for running business workloads. When done right, multi-cloud can be effective for a variety of different reasons. It can help organizations get the best-of-breed features from each cloud provider, avoid vendor lock-in and reduce cloud-related costs.

At its worst, though, a multi-cloud strategy can be clunky, become complicated and involve heightened security risks. In 2023, 85% of organizations either currently have or are actively building a multi-cloud strategy. Shockingly, though, only 9% of technologists have significant experience with more than one cloud provider.

This massive multi-cloud skills gap is something that technology leaders must monitor carefully within their tech teams. Successful technology teams are ones that can aptly navigate a variety of different cloud providers in order to reap the benefits of multi-cloud. To do that, though, they need programmatic support and upskilling resources that give them centralized access to hands-on training with multiple cloud providers.

Sharpening Security Skills

Today, there is potentially no tech skill area that is more important to invest in than cybersecurity. According to IR Magazine, CEOs perceive cybersecurity to be the number one threat to their organizations. Threat actors have the capacity to cost organizations millions of dollars in revenue, destabilize technical infrastructure and tarnish a business’ reputation.

Beyond having a stellar security team, leaders of winning technology teams know that technologists in every role must be well-versed in cybersecurity best practices to help safeguard their organization. As the threat landscape continues to get more complicated and unpredictable, every employee must rise to the challenge.

Threat simulations and hands-on security labs are some of the best upskilling tools that organizations can leverage. These tactile learning solutions can help technologists understand how to mitigate risks in a realistic environment.

Great technology leaders understand that their tech teams cannot remain untested in the face of cybersecurity threats. Instead, technologists must understand the risks they are up against and practice mitigating them. Hands-on upskilling solutions that simulate threat actors are key to this equation.

The Takeaway New technological innovations are going to continue at light speed for the foreseeable future. While organizations should invest resources into bolstering their AI, multi-cloud and security strategies, the most important area of investment is the skills of their technologists. The only way for tech leaders to “win” in today’s technological environment is by engendering a learning and growth mindset into their teams while giving technologists the time and resources they need for upskilling.

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