How the iPhone will impact your talent strategy in 2011

Earlier this year, I came across a TechCrunch article that examined the increased rate of adoption of disruptive technologies, such as cloud-based solutions and more interesting to me, "consumer-oriented" devices such as the iPad and iPhone, at the enterprise level.

In May 2010, AT&T reported that 40 percent of iPhone sales were going to businesses and enterprises. Last summer, Apple COO Tim Cook shared, "Over 60% of the Fortune 500 are deploying or piloting iPhone." And, "In the first 90 days, we already have 50% of the Fortune 500 that are deploying or testing the iPad."

The business productivity benefits of mobile devices and tablets are no longer in question. And with dozens more tablets hitting the market, integration and use of these devices within the business will only become more commonplace.

But what does this mean for your talent strategy? Just ask your IT department.

When the boss wants the latest technology, or sales people get tired of juggling their BlackBerry and iPhone, they ask IT to "make it work" on their network or with their applications. While it used to be easy to mandate a single platform or application, users today demand integration and access through their preferred device.

A comprehensive talent strategy, in addition to the traditional workforce planning, needs to encompass flexibility and responsiveness for new technology, trends, and customer demand.

A few key things to ask about and collaborate on with your IT department:

  • What new technologies and products are employees using (personally, and in the course of their jobs)?

  • What skills are required to integrate them into our infrastructure? What about security? What about support?

  • How are customers leveraging new technologies to interact with our company? Use our products? Access our websites, supports sites, and data?

  • What's next? What areas should we be watching so that we can respond with the talent and skills that will be required to develop and support the new devices, software, etc.?

Your talent strategy, especially as it relates to IT, is a moving target. Time to get in touch with your inner geek, even if you're not a gadget person.

Talent in IT development areas for the iPad and the Android platform has never been hotter and will likely stay that way for some time. Now that Verizon has the iPhone, expect it to get even hotter.

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