Want To Upgrade Your Tech Skills? Focus On These 16 Areas

By Forbes Technology Council Expert Panel

Successful CIOs, CTOs & executives from Forbes Technology Council offer firsthand insights on tech & business.

With near-constant and rapid advances in technology, the tech industry moves at lightning speed. Keeping up with changes and learning new skills is key to your professional development and, for tech entrepreneurs, the viability of your company-the hard part is determining which avenues are the most valuable to explore.

As successful tech leaders, the members of Forbes Technology Council have their fingers on the pulse of the latest industry information and trends. Below, they share 16 areas you should get up to speed on sooner rather than later.

1. Change Management

The most important skill transcends technology-it’s the ability to manage and lead change. We have to keep our tech skills up to date, but more critically, we must be change agents to unlock new opportunities and evolve business with technology. Anticipating and managing change is how our company drove the implementation of key infrastructure programs. This ended up positioning us to enable 225,000 people to work remotely and successfully launch a free version of our digital fitness app to help the public in response to COVID-19. – James Shira, PwC

2. Data Analysis

Data and data insights will be key to any sector. It is all in the data. Usage, metrics, artificial intelligence, machine learning and more are all locked in the data of any product and technology out there, and it is important to learn how to unlock the value of that data. – Kali Durgampudi, Greenway Health

3. Design Thinking

In my organization, we see a couple of cross-cutting areas of skills development. First is design thinking. We have a mantra to “think from the user out.” For us, design thinking is now an essential skill that puts users at the center of how we design our products. Product-management skills such as road mapping, visual communication and A/B testing are also critical for us. – Christopher Lazzaro, Associated Electric Cooperative Inc.

4. Business Problem-Solving

Far too often, CIOs and other technology professionals are focused on new or emerging tech. However, far more differentiating for a CIO is the ability to understand what the business is actually trying to accomplish and what the roadblocks are along the way. From there, use your ability to solve problems using new and innovative solutions. Add value, not just technology. – BJ Vander Linden, Larry H Miller Sports & Entertainment

5. Virtual Holographic Augmented Reality

Virtual holographic augmented reality improves profit and morale. Employees value community-direct eye contact and interacting with life-sized people are critical psychological factors. VHAR enables virtual teams to interact as though they are physically together, seeing the same thing with full eye contact and in life-size. Teams can share views of virtual or real objects. – Marlo Brooke, AVATAR Partners

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