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Earlier this month, as Vice President of Global Strategies for SAP, I traveled to Dublin for the first time and presented at a national conference for tech educators in Ireland (…and I found very nice weather and good food… a nice first touch!).

The focus of my presentation was on the future tech job market – which I see as fast-changing, exciting and challenging.

The tech industry is a major player in the marketplace today.  It generates nearly 2.5 billion dollars annually through a mix of hardware, software and people like those from my SAP division of Services. It is responsible for employing a whopping 29 million people worldwide. And, even in an overall uncertain economic landscape, it’s a market which envisions a steady growth of 4-5% annually.

So, clearly, tech’s impact is BIG.

But, the market is CHANGING. And it’s primarily because the expectations of the tech buyers are changing. Companies, who represent actually the large portion of tech buying, are actually under pressure by two major forces, which are common in every sector:

  1. Rapid adoption: Companies have to ensure a rapid adoption of the faster and faster tech innovation; as I mentioned in a previous post. Whoever is not able to keep the innovation pace, is out of business soon.
  2. Budget constraints: Companies have to do all this in a constant budget constraint; thus, they have to constantly streamline expenditures on running operations and shift resources to foster their innovation.

To cope with these forces in a sustainable way, they must undertake a Digital Transformation.  Each company’s transformation may take a different look and shape, but they all require two things:

  1. Outcome-based approaches: Companies want tech innovation tailored to address specific business pain-points and to deliver measurable business outcomes. Blank-field approaches are not an option anymore, as they imply more time and more risk.
  2. End user adoption: Innovation is not innovation until it gets adopted. Providing the solution is half of the work, the fast adoption by people who should use it is the key success factor.

No matter what technology is ultimately leveraged, these two requirements are the foundation.  Keeping this in mind, in the next post we will see how these change drivers match with the three main technology trends disrupting the business today, and what will be the implications on job skills and areas of expertise for the future.

Stay tuned. Needed job skills for the future is what’s coming up next.

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