Creating the Tech Teams of Tomorrow

Perspectives from our business conversations at THE PLAYERS® Championship

CNBC’s Sara Eisen explores the future of tech talent with Comcast’s Mike Crisafulli and Sandra Cavazos, along with Laura Kohl, CIO of Morningstar, and Nicole Tremblett, SVP of Information Technology Group for HCA Healthcare, during a panel discussion hosted by Comcast Business at THE PLAYERS Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, FL.

From coders to data scientists, startup investors to CIOs, roles across businesses are shifting thanks to today’s evolving technology landscape. Assembling talent that is future-ready necessitates hiring a diverse range of candidates and skill sets to create the right teams.

Companies gaining the edge are those that recognize three key trends that go hand-in-hand with digital innovation, namely: valuing people who possess strong creativity, decision-making and critical-thinking skills; finding people who are a strong cultural fit with an organization; and empowering the female workforce in the tech space. 

These were the takeaways from a panel discussion hosted by Comcast Business at THE PLAYERS Championship, where enterprise technology leaders emphasized the value of hiring people who can “connect the dots.”


Focus on Creative Problem-Solving

It is important to keep the perspective that the tech jobs of the future are still those that require human—not just machine—learning. “AI will do a lot of things, but you still need human expertise,” said Laura Kohl, CIO of Morningstar.

Aside from technical skills, some of the best software developers also tend to have strong creativity, communication, and collaboration skills, said Mike Crisafulli, CIO of Comcast. “As tech continues to evolve, it gets abstracted,” said Crisafulli, “so skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and working with your teammates become even more critical.”

Sandra Cavazos, VP of Security & Privacy at Comcast, said today’s environment calls for people who can learn and pivot constantly. Because cybersecurity threats are getting more and more advanced at an ever-quicker pace, Cavazos said that people who can learn, grow, and adapt within their roles are more critical than ever.

Cultural Fit and Long-Term Growth are Key

What is paramount to Nicole Tremblett, SVP of HCA Healthcare, is finding a really good cultural fit. “A lot of people come to healthcare because they can have an impact” that is tangible and visible, she explained. “Hiring for the right reason is really important to us.” 

Crisafulli echoed this, noting that rotation programs are a great tool to help new hires gain experience in different parts of the business and determine where their skills and passions best converge with the organization’s needs. These programs, often lasting two to three years, also help young workers see a path for career growth, a priority for ambitious tech talent. 

Empower Women in Tech

Another element of the tomorrow’s tech teams is developing an environment where female technologists can excel or have visibility and voice. This underscores the role of tech leaders in driving diversity and inclusion, understanding, and ‘walking the walk’ across the overall business. 

This not only involves identifying and nurturing talent early, but also installing programs and support structures to grow them. It’s imperative that women are able to see that opportunities exist. When it comes to elevating women’s roles in tech, Tremblett said, “It takes everybody in the room making it a priority.” 

Key Takeaways

If tech leaders evolve the ways in which they identify talent, broaden their collective capabilities, train, nurture their workforce, and empower diversity, the tech teams of tomorrow will be well positioned to be nimble and adapt as the business landscape continues to evolve.

As Tremblett said: “We are better together. We can’t be experts in everything. You need to focus on your core competencies,” which means “finding great partners and doing big things together.”

As digital adoption accelerates, enterprises need people who can “connect the dots.”

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