Coming off a 2020 that highlighted the need for strong technological capabilities, more than half of the 184 CIOs recently surveyed by Gartner plan to increase their total number of full-time employees (FTEs) in IT during 2021. Those new FTEs will be tasked largely with accelerating digital initiatives, according to survey respondents, followed by working to automate business operations and increase cloud adoption.
“The critical role IT played across most firms’ response to the pandemic appears to have had a positive impact on IT staffing plans,” says Matthew Charlet, research vice president at Gartner. “The initial pessimism around the 2021 talent situation that many CIOs expressed mid-2020 has since dwindled.”
Overall, CIOs are much more likely to expand in newer, more-emerging technology domains, while also ramping up staffing related to security in the wake of enhanced risks brought on by remote work, analytics and cloud platforms. On the other end of the spectrum, the shift toward more cloud-based services is likely to result in staffing decreases in areas such as data center, network, systems administration and applications maintenance.