Communicate Blog

The IT Talent Problem, more than just Technical Skills

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Business People With SpotlightThere’s been much said about the skills shortage in the IT industry. This focuses mostly on the actual technical skills of individuals. However, there is also a gap emerging in the number of individuals that have both the necessary IT skills and business-savvy. Information technology enrollments are at an all-time low; baby boomer workers are retiring and taking all of that legacy knowledge with them.

Those experts, who can talk technology in one meeting and can talk business in another, are rare species, yet with technology moving directly into the returns stream of your company, you need them. And your need is only going to increase.

The IT industry needs to also look at the broader requirements in the current business environment, developing ways to fix this problem and to grow current employees into the leaders for tomorrow. 

The first solution to the problem lies at its source:

Education
The IT field is so technically focused that graduates don't look at the bigger picture until they are in the field. Coding is vital, however it would help if universities placed less emphasis on coding and more on problem-solving and creative aspects.

The second solution lies in the hiring process
Take into consideration what the most important skills or qualities you need in your company.

Keep in mind those factors will often change depending on the current needs and the skills in the industry. Some companies create a mismatch on the job specifications, between what they want and what they say they want, this result in companies attracting the same type of employees over and over.

The third problem centers on what skills companies require when looking for new employees
Job descriptions often have a list of requirements so long most applicants pass right over them, even though they are actually competent. It’s also important for the company to see if the candidate is ideal for the job and if they will fit into the company culture.

Once you learn different languages, picking up another tech language isn't that difficult, especially if a company is helping you to learn it. But understanding those practices that really drive good solutions is very hard to find and even harder to develop in somebody. They have to do it practically.

For those employees and businesses that already have these skills or are willing to develop them, it's a great way to distinguish themselves in a growing competitive marketplace.

If you're an IT professional and you feel that you have the skills and you're passionate about what you do; you have to look at this as a gold mine. This is a great opportunity for you to start you new job search.

We have a variety of IT vacancies ranging from Business Analysts, SQL DBA, Business Systems Manager, various developer jobs and much more. Visit our website and apply now!

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DevOps: Collaboration and Integration

Mallisa Watson - Monday, August 04, 2014

Apps Map Displays International And Worldwide ApplicationsDevOps has become a platform for driving business operations. The shift in business is rapidly growing and making use of applications and websites for their company to help get their product and brand out there. Principles of continuous integration and continuous build have become an integral part of modern DevOps.
If you're not currently doing these, you're behind the curve of collaborative development and likely reducing your production quality by increasing technical debt, substituting automated operations for manpower and increasing costs unnecessarily.

The Devops movement is built around a group of people who believe that the purpose of combining the proper technology and approach can change the world of software development and delivery. Developers, Testers, Managers, DBA’s and the rest of the specialist in the IT industry are all on the same side. They are all trying to achieve the same thing: the delivery of great quality, reliable software that delivers business benefit to those who bought it.

It’s important to realize that merging applications and infrastructure are extremely difficult. It has however become part of how businesses bring their digital products to new customers. The difference of opinion is increasingly solved through DevOps - a role that helps to bridge the gap. However, there are other levels that must be reconciled in order for the gap to be closed for organization to take advantage of the benefits of incorporated development and operations.

What challenges need to be reconciled?

The app server perception
Time and again, application developers go above and beyond what their needs are. From a hardware point of view, questions need to be raised in relation to whether developers have really understood the application’s resource requirements, for example what needs to be run on the actual server that’s hosting the application. Applications thrive on central processing unit (CPU) and memory resources, and this often converts to resources provisioning problems when the application is moved from testing to production.

Price and costs
The fact of the matter is that building quality software is really expensive and difficult - it's error prone, it's risky, it's unpredictable, so it’s important to consider the infrastructure cost on which the application will be running on. Rushing to buy is not a good idea. If there’s a break down between the dev and IT in terms of what application performance should entail, then you run the risk that extra purchases may become necessary. That cost may end up being more expensive separately than if it had been planned for at the beginning.

Communication

Sometimes the needs of the application must be repeated to infrastructure people, so that it makes sense to them. Even when you think things are fine, there is a need to translate from development to operations, since all too often it’s as though the two departments are speaking different languages: IT is talking about the hardware underlying the OS, while dev is talking about application on whatever coding platform. On the application side, while a certain platform m­ay be in future use to build the app, it needs to be understood whether it is the best-suited platform for the development process as it relates to a living application later.

Infrastructure thinking
The fundamental problem is that from the application side, there is not always the complete understanding of how the operating system at the infrastructure level needs to support the application, which can result in a memory leak for example, or another vulnerability that is causing a need for more resources. From the infrastructure perspectives, it’s about ensuring that all details are checked and double checked around potential drawback areas on the OS, thereby helping integration. This issue can often be overlooked as you go through different OS iterations. Certain businesses can’t patch their servers because they don’t fully understand what needs to change on their end in order for them to change anything related to the app. For example, a security patch might fix one thing but it might affect something else and degrade an app.

How do you reconcile the two competing sides?
The more you integrate dev and IT, the bigger and better results you will get. There are benefits to these different sides matching in an organization -communication plays a crucial role in this. This is as true on the application level as much as it is on the business level. Too often the business needs are not accurately communicated to either group. The business might speak to developers directly thinking that operations and dev are the same, they’re not. And it needs to be approached in the same way to better communicate exactly what is trying to be achieved. It shouldn’t be information that’s passed between the groups like a game of volleyball.

A few suggestions that can help this situation:

Think ahead: Yes you might want to rush the project, but don’t just buy for what’s needed now. Buy with the expectation that your company/brand will grow.

Be practical from a dev perspective for creating an app: Though it might seem cool and works in your testing environment, it won’t necessarily translate correctly or impeccably in production.

Use best practices: Don’t cut corners, and make sure the app has been tested on the infrastructure. Regardless of rush from the line of business, if it’s not ready, it needs to be revisited and prepared on its own time.

There is no doubt that the IT industry is starting to make waves in South Africa and this means more job opportunities for our Developers.

If you are interested in any IT jobs, we can help! Visit our website and apply today.

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Fingerprint Technology is closer than you think

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, July 09, 2014

scanning finger touch screen The changes in technology has us astounded on a daily basis and much have been said about keeping relevant with new trends and how this changing environment is improving or cluttering our lives. A couple of years ago you would have marvelled at Hollywood’s ability to come up with another futuristic movie that allowed the hero to make use of his fingerprint to do online mobile payments, purchase merchandise offline and sign into online banking, without making use of codes or credit card details. Now, this idea is our next reality.

According to Simon Leps, CEO of Fontera Digital Works “Biometric fingerprint authentication technology has already found its way into laptops, external hard-drives and electronic wallets, and will be made use of in the e-commerce environment going forward as a quick means to make online purchases.”

Employees and customers expect to access online services and e-commerce sites from numerous devices. With password fatigue reaching new heights, many security professionals want stronger authentication methods that eliminate the complexities and risks associated with the integration of online credentials and identity management. Therefore, several companies have started investing in biometric fingerprint authentication.

Galaxy S5 smartphones are leading with this technology in the US allowing customers to purchase goods and services on the Internet using fingerprint authentication on all sites that accept payments via PayPal. This is possible due to the fingerprint scanner located on the phone and the biometric user authentication that accesses the corresponding mobile PayPal app.

However, from a security perspective, there are still several concerns. Experts say only if biometrics is used as an additional form of authentication and not as the sole authentication mechanism, is the technology a sound means of verification. Recently the iPhone 5S and Galaxy S5's fingerprint scanners were bypassed with "dummy fingers" which is an indication that the technology, as a standalone feature, is not yet secure enough.

In light of this, a company in Sweden has put a new twist on biometrics that lets customers at retail outlets simply swipe their hands instead of using credit cards for payments. According to them scanning veins in the human hand could become the biometric measure of choice for authentication when we pay for things or want to unlock devices such as smartphones. Fingerprints are notoriously easy to lift from surfaces and are not as secure. One of the main benefits of vein scanning is that you don't leave behind vein prints. Most vein scanner technology coming out requires no physical contact, it means there are no residual biometric patterns that could be copied, preventing fraudulent use.

The landscape of mobile payments and payment authentication is rapidly changing as user demand easier but also more secure options. The need for technology savvy individuals that can navigate the changes successfully and assist companies in providing for their client’s needs are now more important than ever.

Are you looking for a new challenge in the Information Technology industry? We can assist as we work side by side with some of South Africa’s most forward thinking technology companies. Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment company that can help you find your next job opportunity. We have a variety of IT vacancies ranging from Business Analysts, Java Developer, PHP Developer, C# Developer, BI Developer, .Net Developer, IT Manager, Linux Engineer and much more. Visit our website and apply today!

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SQL skills still in high demand

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Words Displays Code Html Php And SqlWith the huge selection of platforms, programming language, and technology choices available today, it’s not easy for software developers to outline where to best invest time in training skills. Most often the question asked is whether or not you should invest your time in a particular software or technology.

Fortunately with the hope and challenges of big data, technology has opened up a whole new range of analytics. As a result developments have arisen for programmatic approaches, and expertise in SQL is one of them.

First, it’s important to remember that SQL is struggling to find its feet. With the progression of cloud computing, big data and big data analysis technology, SQL have withstand challenges in one form or another from other relational database management systems such as Oracle, branch movements such as MySQL, hybrids like the NoSQL movement and so on.

SQL in high demand
Many companies has been turning to SQL Server Reporting Services (SRS) in turn to manage their company data, and this has consecutively created a high demand for database administrators and database developers with the needed skills.

The demand for SQL skills is strongest across the span of information technology careers that includes the business analyst, web developer, data analyst, computer programmer or IT manager.

Mobile computing is growing rapidly and is likely to continue, and SQL Server usage is on the rise as well. Both of these factors mean that SQL skills will continue to be in demand. The top jobs demanding proficiency in SQL include web developers, computer systems analysts, computer software engineers, computer programmers and database administrators. Additional skills that combine with SQL to make a job-seeker even more valuable include Java, software development, JavaScript, XML, RDBMS, UNIX, .NET and HTML.

But how do SQL developers go about keeping up on modern techniques and trends in the SQL world?

SQL skills for today’s technology world
The vast knowledge gap in accessing big data has driven a flood of vendors to offer SQL solutions, which increase the accessibility and allow organizations to re-use their assets learning in SQL. SQL is widely known by most business analysts. Many non-technical staff without a programming background can write SQL and use traditional business intelligence (BI) tools.

SQL databases and big data technology, data warehousing models and applications, profiling data queries, NoSql trends, performance optimization for existing queries keeps changing. SQL users should stay updated with the latest trends and have access to the skills of integral data, extraction transformation and loading (ETL) capabilities, online analytical processing (Olap), and business information reporting services. The increasing drive towards storing data on every customer interaction or transaction is also driving up the need for data analysts, database developers who are beginning to use SQL database development, SQL query writing or SQL programming.

SQL is definitely gaining ground in the Information Technology industry and the future looks promising as well.

So if you have experience in the SQL field and looking for the next big break in your IT career, let us help!

Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment company that can help you find your next job opportunity. We have a variety of IT jobs ranging from SQL DBA, Business Analysts, Business Systems Manager & more. Visit our website and apply today!

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Cape Town booming IT mecca

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Cape Town view from Table MountainMany of us consider Cape Town as a laid-back city boasting one of the new wonders of nature, Table Mountain and favourite tourist spot to all. Although this is true to a certain extent, this city has also become a serious player in the software and IT services sector. Since 2006 Cape Town’s software and IT services sector has been booming with more than R1.5 billion invested.

In December 2011, the City of Cape Town, as part of its broadband infrastructure project, completed a R125 million, 500km optic fibre network project, thereby increasing the City’s bandwidth by approximately 1,000 times and ensuring even further growth in this sector.

It is therefore no surprise that Cape Town gets compared to Silicon Valley. Cape Town is quite similar in culture, it’s cosmopolitan, with an offering to quirky tech intellectuals and up-and- coming wealthy entrepreneurs. The Cape architecture– combining new and old – and the coffee and wine culture is important in bringing together highly mobile, wealthy and tech savvy individuals.

Mark Shuttleworth is a household name in South Africa and to many abroad he has championed innovation and made science hip again. Since his success, a number of creative software design and development companies have been founded in Cape Town.

Fundamo
Fundamo is one of South Africa’s tech success stories exiting to Visa for a whopping US$110-million in 2011. It was founded by Hannes van Rensburg in 2000 in Cape Town and launched the world’s first mobile financial service for the unbanked in developing economies in 2002. Bridging the gap between the kind of un-banked and under banked customer the financial industry usually does not want to serve and the big banking corporations has been something a pre- and post-acquision Fundamo has pulled off on a large scale. It provided financial services for the very poorest people in the world through their mobile phones, especially in rural areas with poor infrastructure.

Mxit
Founded in 2003 by Namibian born software developer Herman Heunis, MXit grew from humble beginnings as a mobile phone IM client to a full-scale mobile social network with about 23-24 million users in sub-Saharan Africa. The extensive reach of the MXit service, its proven robustness, support of many different handsets (more than 3 000) and high penetration of the youth market gives it an advantage over rivals. MXit is another great example of South African success in the technology industry.

Clickatell
Founded in South Africa, the company created the first websites for business to consumer SMS messaging and have been cashing in on the continued growth of mobile phone users – and the increasing want for companies to use SMS to their advantage – ever since. Although Clickatell moved its headquarters to Silicon Valley in the US, its roots in South Africa means it has recruited large enterprise clients in sub-Saharan Africa. Testament to its success is the backing it has received from venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, widely regarded as one of the best in the business and investors in companies including Apple, Google, YouTube and Oracle.

Cape Town’s growing start up community demonstrates the breadth and depth of the talent that calls Cape Town home. With the numerous software and IT companies based around the city it’s the perfect location to find your next career opportunity.

Communicate Personnel have offices in Cape Town and a team of specialist recruitment consultants in the IT sector that will match your skills with the relevant job. We have career opportunities that include .Net developer jobs, Java developer jobs, Php developer jobs, IT manager jobs, DBA jobs and much more. Visit our website and apply today.

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Every developer should know …

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, April 02, 2014

codingIt continues to get easier to build extravagant and more complex applications and software. People use apps that are amazingly intuitive and all of a sudden, a very high expectation is set of all technology they use. Sometimes too high. It is therefore no surprise that the need is increasing for developers to stay current and on top of trends.

As a developer, what topics do you believe will be critical to understand going forward? Share with us your thoughts on this.

Mobile is taking over
A recent report out from Cisco states that before the end of this year the number of Internet-enabled smartphones and tablets in use will exceed the number of people on earth. The traditional computer will still have a place but we’re increasingly fulfilling the picture Steve Jobs painted a couple years ago. PCs, he said, are going to be more like trucks, taking on bigger computing tasks while we get more and more done on nimble car-like mobile devices. As developers, we will have to adapt.

Understand the business your customer is in
Anybody who says you just need to implement the spec and stop asking questions doesn't know what they're talking about. Putting yourself in the customer's shoes and asking what problem you're trying to solve, not just what they asked you to solve, will put you head and shoulders above your competition. Developers often blindly rely on business people, business analysts, and user experience designers to tell them what will make a great user experience. The better you know the business the higher is the probability to implement the best system.

Caching
Speed is one of the most important factors for a great user experience on the Web. Sadly, it is rare for web developers to know how to design and implement a decent caching strategy. Relying on an unnecessary number of calls to a database and/or file system is a great way to slow things down and annoy users. Most modern frameworks have built-in ways to use memory and file-system caching, so take the extra time to learn how to do this even if you are not expecting high amounts of traffic.

So what do you think? Add to our list.

Isn’t it time you start looking for a job that will test your abilities? If you answered yes, let us help you with your search. Communicate Personnel is a specialist IT recruitment agency with outstanding consultants. We have exciting IT jobs which includes positions for Java Developers, PHP Developers, .NET Developers, Front-end Developer, and much more. Contact us today.

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The Technology Talent Battle (Part 2)

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Technology BackgroundIn part one, we had a look at how you can rotate high performers, encourage the use of innovation within your organization and ensure outside exposure.

Now I am about to take the discussion further. Join me and continue reading.

Increase talent externally
Developing and maintaining existing talent is important, but it is never enough. Skills and qualifications required to play key roles may not exist internally, and opportunities to upgrade talent always exist. A new person brings fresh ideas and perspectives into a technology organization. As such, sourcing talent externally is also critical. Naturally, great recruiting capabilities are a must, but there are also specific actions that IT organizations have found particularly useful.

Rethink location strategies when necessary
IT organizations created incredible value over the past years by relocating functions to less expensive locations. Some IT organizations are now refining their location strategies to enhance their ability to attract critical talent. In many cases, this means operating a portfolio of locations that includes lower-cost sites to perform transactional activities and locations in city centers or near universities to attract technologists with cutting-edge skills.

Draft the best athlete
Large, complex technology requires hundreds of specialized skills, and needs can change rapidly. Customer analytics and enterprise mobility may be pressing requirements, but other issues may be more critical in a few years. However, talented technologists can learn new skills quickly, so some IT organizations have focused recruiting on finding great problem solvers and communicators, with the expectation that they can pick up the skills required for a particular role.

Leverage the network
Talent attracts talent, especially in technology roles. Investing in high-profile hires, potentially from non-traditional sources for example, recruiting high-tech talent for enterprise IT roles, can help build buzz on the recruiting market.

Making required changes happen
Which of these levers to apply, how to apply them, and in what cycle depend heavily on a company’s needs, existing capabilities, and organizational constraints?

Here’s how to think about integrating these levers to help win the war for technology talent:

Get an accurate picture of future needs and current capabilities. A technology talent strategy has to start with insight into needs. Will there be large investments in multichannel customer care? Which is a bigger priority? Business innovation or quality and efficiency of IT delivery? Will cyber security risk management have to improve? At the same time, IT businesses must develop an objective view of their current skills and capabilities. How current staff feel about their career experiences, how staff are perceived outside the company, and how current recruiting and career-development processes work—or don’t work for that matter.

Develop a map of priorities. To focus efforts, leading organizations develop a heat map that shows the gaps between business needs and current skills, as well as risks related to those gaps. For example, a company might recognize that most of its developers grew up programming back-office applications, but that the business will need more sophisticated data analytics over the next two years, or that given a planned consolidation program, the company can’t afford to lose any high-performing infrastructure engineers.

Track and reinforce progress. To make sure the required, everyday behavior changes occur, progress must be tracked against a set of metrics. For example, maintenance of high performers, the number of external hires who succeed in their roles, and the percentage of staff receiving business-oriented training and syndicated with senior leaders who can resolve issues and accelerate progress.

With the current skills gap in IT, it can be challenging to find, retain and develop the right talent.

Tap into having only the best talent in your company! Contact us today and we will make sure to find the ideal candidate for your business.

Or if you are in the job market for IT jobs, we can help you!

Visit our website and apply directly online now.

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The Technology Talent Battle (Part 1)

Mallisa Watson - Monday, February 24, 2014

abstract world technology backroundThe right IT talent can be hard to find. But executives can learn from the ways in which leading Information technology organizations develop, retain and recruit good people in their company.

A remarkable number of recruiters and executives are having a hard time finding and retaining the talent necessary not only to extract value from investments in such areas as big data and project mobility, but also to carry out everyday IT operations with the required quality, security, and efficiency. These executives are also struggling to get the most out of their existing talent. While they have staff with specific IT skills, they often lack competent individuals to solve problems that span multiple technology areas and engage business managers on topics such as technology innovation.

Interestingly enough, companies that outsource technology struggle with these talent challenges just as much as those that do not. Outsourcing changes IT talent requirements but does not reduce them.

This issue is critical for senior IT leaders. However there are a number of ways in which you can develop, retain and recruit talent.

Developing and retaining talent
Combining new talent in a technology business or any other industry, costs money, is time-consuming, and risky. Screening candidates, conducting interviews, negotiating employment terms, and getting a new hire up to speed in their role can take six months or more.

As a result, it’s crucial in winning the war for IT talent to develop and retain the team you have. In addition to all the traditional people-management levers (competitive compensation, rewards for success, effective coaching) we found that leading organizations employ a range of other approaches to develop and retain technology talent.

Rotate high performers
In many IT organizations, the career path is a traditional one. A new hire starts out in a particular domain (Web development, .Net development) and advances to assume roles of greater responsibility in that domain by demonstrating a combination of technological expertise and operational or project ability. Although this path has its advantages, it also encourages relatively narrow interest and, over time, can lead to a feeling of career “past its sell-by date.” Some IT organizations are proactively rotating high performers across technology domains and into business or operational functions as well. The purpose is to prepare managers who can engage with business leaders as peers and can more readily solve versatile technology problems that cover many parts of a traditional IT organization.

Support technology passions
The best people in the technology environment have a passion for technology. They are excited by the opportunity to use innovative technologies to solve problems. With all the focus on top-down management of IT project portfolios, individual innovation and experimentation are easily discouraged or lost. Therefore it’s important to encourage the use of innovative ways in your business.

Facilitate outside exposure
Technology is a community that extends far beyond any individual company or institution. By making time for high performers to participate in industry or functional groups (for example, standards-setting boards), leading technology shops expand their high performers’ horizons and help them feel connected to a broader technology community.

To rotate high performers, support the passionate individuals and ensure outside exposure are just some ideas to win the technology battle.

Look out for part two where I look at how to increase talent externally and ensuring you make the necessary changes to foster growth.

We understand that it can be difficult finding high performing candidates for your business, but it doesn’t have to be!

Communicate Personnel is a specialist recruitment company that source nothing but the best of the best individuals for your organization. Contact us today and set up a meeting with one of our consultants.

Or if you are in the market for IT jobs, visit our website and apply directly online.

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Information Technology: Watch out for these trends

Sandra Olivier - Wednesday, January 29, 2014

modern interior of server room in datacenter At the beginning of every year, industry leaders make prediction around the biggest trends and changes for the coming year. Although some times these predictions ends up being just that, it’s always useful to keep an eye on this and consider it as you look towards your strategic planning for the year.

With the Information Technology industry and its data centres going through change at a breakneck pace, IT managers are sure to be kept on their toes. Changes are underway to the very fundamentals of how we create IT, how we leverage IT, and how we innovate in IT. Information Technology has always been about finding solutions by stretching the limits of creativity, but when so many fundamental elements shift at the same time, it becomes both exciting and challenging even for the most experienced IT professionals.

Restructuring IT’s role:
A recent article in Forbes suggested that in 2014 “IT becomes an agile service broker”. The numerous changes, specifically within the BI industry, provides opportunities for vendors to develop new products in which IT’s role will change from traditional gatekeeper to useful helper. The increase use of Mobile, Cloud and Big Data applications requires a shift within IT to focus more on product configuration and software development than issuing reports. Information Technology will ultimately provide the means for everyday consumers to access Business Intelligence by functioning as strategists who can grant business users’ fast-paced desires instead of prolonging the process of delivering much needed information.

A mounting skills crisis:
Although this is not new, this issue continues to be a challenge in the Information Technology industry. While organisations were quick to adopt and invest in social, mobile and cloud technologies, the unexpected rise of these technologies unleashed tremendous disruption within IT departments in all companies. The business benefit promised by these powerful assets is undeniable and therefore requires a dramatic change in the culture and skills base within IT.

Big data requires a completely different set of skills focusing on data analysis, the new mobility of employees and use of social platforms are creating a skills gap in terms of design and architecture of applications and user interfaces. Experts believe that nearly all of the 30 fastest-growing occupations in the next decade will demand workers skilled in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). But the supply of these highly skilled workers is not growing fast enough to meet the demand.

Developers continue to rule:
If there's one common thread through all of these predictions, it's Marc Andreessen's two-year-old declaration that software is eating the world. There simply aren’t enough skilled developers to write code for the numerous platforms. The changes within data centre with infrastructure becoming programmable are adding to the increase on demand for these skills. With insatiable demand comes high salaries and status, at least for those with the right combination of skills.

Mobile Apps and Applications:
Gartner predicts that through 2014, improved JavaScript performance will begin to push HTML5 and the browser as a mainstream application development environment. This year developers are sure to focus more on creating expanded user interface models including richer voice and video that can connect people in new and different ways. The increase use of mobile devices will require the building of application user interfaces that span a variety of devices and knowledge about assembling this into optimized content for each device.

The market for tools to create consumer and enterprise facing apps is complex with well over 100 potential tools vendors. For the next few years no single tool will be optimal for all types of mobile application so expect to employ several.

Time will only tell, but one thing is for sure change will be a constant in this industry and that is one prediction that is sure to come true.

Do you think these are realistic predictions for the year? Share with us your thoughts on what will shake up Information Technology in the next 12 months.

If you are in looking for a partner to help you manage your career and scope out your next job opportunity in IT, contact us. Communicate Personnel is an IT recruitment company with consultants that specialize in working with developers, architects, consultants in CRM and ERP through to BI and BA. Check out our vacancy page and apply today.

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Business Intelligence taking the world by storm

Mallisa Watson - Wednesday, November 27, 2013

business wordingCompanies around the world, of all sizes, are turning to next generation Business Intelligence (BI) tools to assist them in controlling the huge amounts of data, and putting the resulting insights to use as a competitive distinction.

A number of factors are driving this increasing dramatic need for BI tools. The production of data, social media, mobility, consumerisation and the growing need for enterprise quickness are forcing rapid change in businesses’ approach to BI.

In the past, BI was employed to analyze historic patterns and data residing within the enterprise to understand operations and customer behaviour. However, the pace of change has accelerated. This is all thanks to the power of universal social media networks, change now takes place in a matter of seconds. Disruptive influences distort what were once predictable patterns in a matter of days, or even minutes. Now, business must be constantly aware of changing market forces and customer sentiments, and must be able to refocus and change direction accordingly. This level of business speed can only be achieved with the right technology and the necessary BI skills.

Social Media
Social media analysis allows the enterprise to get accurate insights into customer sentiment and external market conditions as they change. To tap in to the wealth of information residing within social media networks, next generation BI technology analytics will be required. The ability to adapt in line with new trends will be the key factor to business success in future, and enterprises are pretty much aware of the importance of this.

Big Data
The need to integrate social media data into the BI, presents the big data challenge. Additionally to social media, enterprises must now have the capability to analyse competitor activities, email and other digital communications, location-based data and more. As the capacity, variety and speed of big data increases, advanced big data tools will become increasingly necessary to manage vast amounts of planned and unplanned data.

Mobility
Africa is a mobile continent, with individuals and enterprises improving on landline and moving directly to high speed mobile connectivity. With this shift, enterprises need control panels that deliver “on-the-go” access to critical business and market information allowing them to make key decisions faster. High level executives now want the ability to interrogate figures on the move, and in light of this, gain a competitive advantage.

Avoiding BI disappointments
In the past, numerous companies have had disappointments in their BI executions commonly because their strategies have been poor or because they were not asking the right questions at the outset. That is why you need to have a full- proof BI strategy by understanding how you do business and what data do you want from your systems?

In order to successfully use BI in your organization, you need to take stock of what equipment and solutions you already have in place, assessing your current infrastructure and whether it properly supports advanced BI tools. You need to understand how mature the business processes are, and whether you are capable of supporting BI.  Defining the key business endpoint is a good start. By beginning with a broad understanding of where you are and where you want to grow to, you will be at a point to decide what steps need to be taken to achieve the goals that you’ve set up.

If you want a successful business, hire a BI specialist to help you get there.

Our specialist recruitment consultants will help find you great candidates to add to your team.  Or if you are looking for new IT jobs such as Business Intelligence, Senior Systems Analyst, BI Developers and so much more. Visit our website and apply today!

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