The global shortfall of employees in the cybersecurity field is estimated to reach 3.5 million employees in 2021, which represents a challenge not only in terms of talent management, but also with respect to the eventual risks to organizations, according to A3sec.

Although salaries may be one of the most attractive in the technology industry, the cybersecurity field faces a challenge in terms of attracting talent that is experienced even in the most developed markets on the planet.

In the case of the U.S., it is estimated that the shortfall reached 359,000 positions in 2020, despite the fact that some 870,000 people, most of them men, are employed in the industry in that market.

In fact, industry leaders face a major challenge in terms of inclusion, given that it is estimated that the female participation rate in the industry is only 25%, according to figures from the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, quoted by CNN.

Given the current shortage of employees in the industry, companies are exposed to unnecessary risks when it comes to handling sensitive data and preventing breaches.

Despite the challenges in this area, and the fact that the world has just gone through several of the most critical cybersecurity episodes during the pandemic, the deficit of these professionals is expected to increase at alarming rates of between 20% and 30%, leaving companies even more exposed.

Leadership and a more determined strategy on the part of organizations may be key to strengthening this field, which has been demanding greater attention for years. Incidentally, a global report by PwC indicates that the majority of CEOs surveyed stated that cyber threats are the number two risk to business prospects.

The 2022 Global Digital Trust Insights Survey, which surveyed 3,602 business, technology and security executives around the world, shows that this year there is greater executive commitment to cybersecurity strategies, which is reflected in the results of the most advanced firms.

It explains that the current moment calls for CEOs to support and resource CISOs to meet cybersecurity goals, while empowering them to reach out more to customers to "speak their language and better understand their business imperatives," according to the report.

 "The 10% of those who are "most advanced" in cybersecurity practices receive support from their CEOs and are in a good position. But the majority (63%) of organizations don't get the kind of support they need from their CEO. The fact is that both the CEO and the CISO need to work better together to benefit the business," says PwC.


Talent management challenges

Effective and engaged leadership is vital to the future of an organization's cybersecurity strategy and involves different variables ranging from the initial shaping of leadership, to an organizational culture based on constant challenges, according to A3Sec.

Defining the leadership profile required by organizations in the field of technology is crucial for their roadmap and to fulfill the goals set in a scenario as changing as it is challenging, and in which innovation must go hand in hand with operational and financial efficiency.

A3Sec sees that the phenomenon of the great resignation in the U.S., as it has been called the departure of workers dissatisfied with the traditional dynamics and the lack of flexibility in their jobs, is having an effect on the technology industry.

This has caused companies to adapt to new employability trends and workers are leaning towards remote offers, to the point that these increased fivefold between May 2020 and the same month of 2021 on the professional platform Linkedin, according to a BBC report.

The world of work is changing by leaps and bounds and constant innovation is becoming the guide for companies, especially in the IT area, which is undergoing a permanent revolution. By the way, a recent report by International Data Corporation (IDC), indicates that by 2024 "55% of successful digital innovative products will be created by teams that include people with creative, critical thinking, analytical and automation skills, as well as software engineers".

It also projects that those companies that by 2024 have invested in building a developer ecosystem will expand their customer base by 25%, although talent shortages will remain a challenge and will affect 90% of organizations by 2025 in digital transformation.


Cybersecurity profiles, increasingly competitive

A recent PageGroup report, entitled LATAM 2022 Outlook Study, concluded that technology profiles are currently in high demand in a scenario of talent deficit and in which there is an increasing need for adequate management of the large flows of information that companies manage on a daily basis.

In this way, the analysts identified that "cloud storage has become the main target for technological investment in most of the countries surveyed. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and communication tools are also of great relevance".

Based on the interviews conducted throughout the continent, it was determined that by 2022 the most demanded technology profiles will be Business Intelligence (54.2%), Cybersecurity (49.7%), Big data (44.4%), developers, specialists in internet of things (22.7%), in Cloud Computing (20.7%), SCRUM Master (11%), among others.

Leading IT teams in today's challenging environment requires agility on the part of leaders, as well as keeping up with industry developments and above all appealing to their specialties in order to exploit the competitive advantages offered by a market in which "the rapid adoption of more automated, cloud-based and AI-enabled work practices will improve labor productivity and introduce new, more agile ways of working," as anticipated by the IDC FutureScape.


The keys to lead industry teams

The specialized technology magazine CIO took some concepts from the recent MIT Sloan Symposium to talk about the challenges that IT managers in companies face today. In this regard, he says that one of the characteristics of successful IT leaders, including those in the cybersecurity sector, is that they understand that business dynamics should guide investments and not the other way around, which is summarized as "letting the business lead".

This saves unnecessary costs and bases strategy on what business development is really asking for, based on key information that is available today thanks to big data and analytics.

Other key points refer to the need to create an open culture in which ideas flow and teams debate for the benefit of the business, which also strengthens the identity of organizations.

Successful leadership also calls for flexibility and reinforces the concept of overcoming changes in the organization's structures, harmoniously adapting to technological developments.

A3Sec considers that the leadership demanded by today's times requires that the people in charge are immersed in the different roles within the team and live that experience in order to understand the different challenges that are outlined in the field.

For this it is important to forge strong relationships within the team and foster a culture of innovation based on self-determination, patience to understand the moment when a technology can be disruptive to the market, insight to anticipate the transformations that are coming and that failure is not a charge but part of a process.


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