March 19, 2012, 4:00 PM — In 2012 a preferred IT candidate might be someone with a background in business rather than technology, who has sought supplementary tech certifications. How can this be? As Forrester analyst Stephanie Moore recently stated: "To build technology solutions that drive the business, as opposed to just enable the business, technologists need to have more contextual understanding -- so they understand, intuitively in some cases, what the business wants without the business having to specify it." It's tough to tailor a solution to your sales department's needs, for example, if you don't understand pipeline management.
In gathering data for my firm's 2012 IT salary guide, we found demand for developers in cloud solutions rising substantially. Coincidentally, many of the certifications for these technologies are pursued by non-IT professionals -- and some of these folks may wind up under your sphere of responsibility. However, it throws a wrench into the traditional functioning of an IT department. There's a new set of jobs cropping up that fall under the CIO's umbrella but are equal parts accounting, marketing, logistics, sales, etc. You can't compare them to IT pros of the past, and perhaps won't even call them "IT" -- call them what you will, you'll have to deal with them.