Why it’s important to update requirements for digital networks roles

Pubished 17th January 2020

Technological innovation is accelerating at an extraordinary pace, perfect storms are hitting businesses at every frontier. While IT departments are managing changes from cloud to AI and anytime/anywhere mobile access, the real challenge is hiring the right talent to keep pace with these changes.

IT Infrastructure is the top factor leading to IT budget increases in 2020 according to Spicework's State of IT report. In most cases, it’s IT who are asked to implement emerging technologies while keeping legacy systems up-to-date.

While IT Infrastructure roles face challenges at the bleeding-edge of technology, the job requirements remain relatively the same. Often data centre experience is required for infrastructure roles, however, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 80% of enterprises will shut down their traditional data centres. 10% of organisations already have, therefore, a replacement for this requirement could be necessary.

Cloud was just the start, with knowledge of Azure, AWS and GDC required for Architecture roles, now IT professionals are preparing for artificial intelligence and machine learning to be in the mix. Understanding the role of data is crucial at every step in the AI/ML workflow. AI in IT infrastructure could be used for the managing and monitoring of the IT ecosystem, incident management and real-time cost analysis.

Senior network engineering roles are moving from manual to automated, workflow is now focused on faster, more scalable delivery. Requirements for these roles are often focussed on the manual, repetitive tasks while senior engineers are now expected to automate. Knowledge of automation frameworks (Ansible, Puppet, etc.) would be advantageous for this role combined with JSON and coding languages like Python and Perl. This changing role now allows a focus on quick reliable business integrations and training junior engineers for the next generation of automation.

Often a step up from a network engineering role is a network architect, that takes a holistic approach to understand the business requirements, translating and incorporating these in the architecture. New technology and software can bring new opportunities and challenges to a business. A network architect with knowledge of for instance SD-WAN and 5G solutions may not show interest in a role with IPv4 in the requirements. The case is similar for both technical project manager and systems integration manager roles.

The best IT talent out there are already surrounding themselves with knowledge and experience with emerging technologies. It’s up to businesses to update their job requirements for their IT roles to attract them.

InterQuest’s Networks practice works with some of the biggest names in the industry connecting telecoms and data professionals to the best jobs in digital networks.