11 IT Skills in Demand for 2025

Sophie Danby October 19, 2022
- 20 min read

We don’t know what the future holds. We never have and never will. But we can plan for it based on assumptions and the insights provided by trusted industry sources. Bearing that in mind, we asked 11 IT professionals what they thought were the top IT skills in demand not for 2023 but 2025.

Why, you may be asking yourself. Well, because we wanted to get a more midterm picture of what IT and IT service management (ITSM) industry authorities believe is in store for the next few years. We didn’t want to just create a list of fads, we wanted to provide you with the ultimate resource to improve your career, not just next year.

So, if you’re curious about whether (or not) you need to acquire new IT skills, here are their answers to the question: which skills will an IT professional need to succeed in the year 2025?

Let’s see what they had to say!

11 IT skills in demand for 2025

Before we start, it’s crucial to clarify that each of the canvased industry authorities has its own areas of expertise and interest. Hence, it’s unsurprising that there’s a wide range of skills predicted as being 2025-relevant. 

They proved to have given the task a lot of thought, resulting in incredible thorough responses that we managed to group by topic. 

If you’re in a hurry and can’t read the whole thing, here’s the list of 11 IT skills in demand for 2025:

  1. Empathy with others
  2. Data understanding and analytical prowess
  3. Ability to change
  4. Focus on customer and value
  5. A propensity for continual learning
  6. Collaboration and teamwork
  7. Communication and soft skills
  8. Automation, including artificial intelligence-enabled capabilities
  9. Security
  10. Sustainability
  11. Ability to move from ITSM

Now, it’s time to dive deeper into each item on the list.

1. Empathy with others

The first IT skill in demand for 2025 is empathy, and it got several supporters. Charles Araujo (Publisher and Principal Analyst at The Digital Experience Report) linked it to the ability to be acutely aware of the experience tied to the technology or service that you're providing. "Being able to put yourself in the shoes of your customer (whether that's the actual customer, an employee, or a partner) will be an essential skill," he assured.



"Spending time trying to understand the view of the customer and emphasizing with them can go a long way to building and maintaining great relationships with the rest of the business."

Vawns Murphy
Senior Consultant at i3Works Ltd


Meanwhile, Earl Begley, IT Compliance & Standards Officer at San Francisco International Airport, went a bit far and spoke about emotional intelligence. He explained that, as the workforce became more distributed, the IT team would be expected to deliver high-quality services whenever and wherever the customer desires to use them. 

“IT team members will need to have emotional intelligence skills to work with customers and other team members in remote locations, using various qualities of network access, and across a multitude of devices. This skill will help team members self-manage, as well as help identify when customers or teammates are struggling with changes,” he pointed out.

2. Data understanding and analytical prowess

Information has been at the center of the stage for years now. Knowing how to process and interpret data is a valuable skill in the IT industry. In this sense, IT professionals must know and be able to assist customers in how to best access and utilize the organization’s data.



"Everything in the enterprise will be data-driven. That will include customer interactions, employee engagement, and how IT itself functions. You’ll need to be expert at understanding how to capture, interpret, and apply data in all facets of your job function."

Charles Araujo
Publisher and Principal Analyst at The Digital Experience Report


Begley agreed with this and warned that organizations would expect IT to be able to quickly navigate and decipher disparate data sets to build decision models that quickly help achieve requirements and objectives. “IT professionals will be on the front lines, helping the business units understand how to convert their process to digital offerings. This may include increasing analytical and critical thinking skills to help the business navigate the tsunami of data choices it will need to make,” he completed.

3. Ability to change

Being flexible is a key IT skill that would be more and more relevant. Even though IT has always been in a state of change, according to Greg Sanker, Director of IT Support at Taylor Morrison, what’s new is the nature of change.

“We used to transition from a known state to a planned future state. Ahead are shifts that may be hard to detect, with unknown unknowns and an unclear future state. And through that complexity, IT professionals are expected to produce results the organization needs,” he observed.

With this in mind, he believed that IT professionals must become experts in complexity (with the ability to quickly determine the culture and context in which they must solve increasingly novel problems) and comfortable exploring unknown territories (often with limited guidance from existing practices).

Another IT professional that highlights this skill is Roman Jouravlev, ITIL 4 Development Manager and Lead Architect at AXELOS. In particular, he recommended being fluent in complexity thinking and adjusting your behavior and decisions to the complex context. “As clear and standard situations will be handled automatically, people – and especially IT managers – will be routinely facing complicated, complex, and chaotic situations,” he said.

And speaking of flexibility, Ivor Macfarlane’s words must come to mind at this point:



"The biggest change needed might be in our ability to let go of previous ideas, approaches, preferences, and prejudices – the skill to unlearn our past behavior. If the next few years repeat the past few then adaptability is what we should seek out, cherish, and reward. And for adaptability to flourish we need some of those old favorites: empowerment and a broad understanding and perspective."

Ivor Macfarlane
ITSM Consultant at MacfPartners


Lastly, Murphy added that since more and more service desks are moving to an omnichannel approach, service desk pros will need to be flexible in, for instance, switching from providing support in person, over the phone, and via apps and web chat.

4. Focus on customer and value

Several of the consulted experts pointed out that understanding business value, and combining it with a focus on experience is another skill for future IT professionals.



"Understanding business value will be 100% necessary for all IT professionals. Continuous improvement will be part of everyone's role, and value will continue to change faster than currently, and continuous improvement will be the core of successful organizations. What meets the customer's needs today will not necessarily meet their needs tomorrow, next week, or next month."

John Custy
ITSM Consultant at JPC Group


To illustrate this, Roy Atkinson – CEO and Industry Analyst at Clifton Butterfield LLC – quoted Warren Buffet: “Price is what you pay; value is what you get,” meaning that IT professionals need to be focused on ways to produce more value while contributing to better customer experience.

And speaking of combining the focus on value and experience, Jouravlev made a fair point when mentioning that “value is perceived through experience – especially when users are considered. Value for other stakeholders, not directly experiencing the services, will remain a vital consideration, and IT professionals will need to balance interests and perceptions of multiple stakeholders.”

5. A propensity for continual learning

Begley urged IT professionals to be voracious consumers of research and analysis regarding cloud operations, DevOps methodologies, security operations, and automation techniques now more than ever. 

In this sense, Macfarlane advised to abandon things like single-minded determination, never admitting defeat, and sticking to your guns. “We still hear them spoken of as positive traits but in an ever-changing world, they usually are not. Listen, be open to persuasion, value the opinions of others, and seek those with knowledge and skills you don't have. Seek to complement what you have – look to be part of a successful team, not building personal glory,” he recommended.



"For me, there is one key skill required of IT professionals: the ability to spend 80% of their time outside of their office learning what is really happening.

The world is digital or online. IT professionals need to get out and see, observe, and learn how the technology they provide really works. No more ‘built by design’ from an internal product team, but instead ‘built by design’ from the view of and with the help of the people that will use it."

Daniel Breston
ITSM Consultant at Daniel Breston Ltd


However, Kaimar Karu (Partner at Mindbridge) gave a fair warning: “The main challenge is not necessarily on the members of various IT teams but their managers and their manager's managers. The make-or-break moment for the organization depends on whether they’ve been successful in creating a work environment that enables (rather than stifles) learning and innovation. Where empowerment is real, not just a bullet on a slide.”



6. Collaboration and teamwork

Though these are skills that became even more relevant when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, they are essential for today’s hybrid work. Murphy acknowledged that and emphasized that “there’s no ‘IT’ and ‘the business,’ we’re all in this together. In a post-pandemic environment, we need to continue to work as one team so that we can move forward effectively.”



"By 2025 we will undeniably observe the impact of current developments in cloud, DevOps, and AI. We already see hyper-automation, extreme connectivity, and fluid workspaces influencing the way we work, and how we work together. Any IT professional who does not master the art of digital collaboration and co-creation will become irrelevant."

Dave Van Herpen
Independent Consultant at Van Herpen Impact Consultancy


Atkinson also mentioned that “because the roles of IT (especially distributed IT) are varied, collaboration enables the achievement of common goals and accelerates the completion of tasks. When workers with various backgrounds and technical expertise come together to accomplish a common goal, effectively collaborating produces better results.”



"By 2025, having virtual agents and virtual assistants operating alongside human workers will be common. Hybrid collaboration will require an understanding of the capabilities and limitations of virtual co-workers as well as the willingness to work with them."

Roy Atkinson
CEO and Industry Analyst at Clifton Butterfield LLC


7. Communication and soft skills

As every day passes, we become more and more aware of the fact that soft skills can’t be left aside. According to Custy, interpersonal skills – such as listening, questioning, and the ability to build trust during the communication process – will continue to increase in importance. 

“Human interactions will be a value-add interaction vs. a value-leak interaction. IT staff will need to understand the business processes they support and understand how to translate the business needs to technical requirements, ensuring that the desired outcomes can be achieved,” he completed.

On the other hand, when consulted for this article, Matthew Burrows, President at SkillsTx, offered an interesting point of view, where it’s not only important to master soft skills, but also to be able to communicate this properly.



"IT professionals need to develop the ability to represent their skills and competencies in a way that is understood by all. This is important now and will be even more essential in the future as we move away from traditional employment models and static job descriptions."

Matthew Burrows
President at SkillsTx 


To achieve this, he recommended creating an SFIA-based Skills Profile or Digital CV/Resume. “Not only will all IT professionals need to pick up this language and taxonomy but keep their profile up-to-date to reflect the rapid changes in the skills they have and the skills they need. Every IT professional should have a Skills Profile and a Development Action Plan – and keep these up-to-date,” he observed.

8. Automation, including artificial intelligence-enabled capabilities

These IT skills have been in demand for a while now. But it’s key to keep learning and expanding artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities. 



"Many current IT professionals need to start the transition to become Automation 'Sherpas': people who understand the complexity and end-to-end delivery of systems and who can help the business identify areas where automation can reduce low-value work. These professionals may become low-code gurus and help teach the business how to become 'citizen developers.'"

Earl Begley
IT Compliance & Standards Officer at San Francisco International Airport


Custy, on the other hand, encouraged IT professionals to understand how to train the AI/ML technology in each functional area where they work. “Technology will continue to automate much of the current toil (knowledge management) and then allow analytics to better analyze and correlate trends and causes for changes, allowing forecasting, which most organizations are not doing today. As a result, predictive analytics will be the norm for successful organizations,” he explained.

9. Security

Another hot trend is IT security, at least for Begley and Van Herpen. On this topic, the former recommended being integrated into the security process and operations. “With the level of challenges businesses are facing, it’ll become incumbent for IT professionals to provide the business with clear and concise security methods that enhance the value of the services, without causing grief,” he mentioned.

While the latter observed that “whether you’re a reliability engineer, data scientist, service desk agent, solution architect, software developer, or product owner, you’ll need to think about data, security, and resilience. All your customers, users, and colleagues will rely on your abilities to compose, build, deliver, and support reliable and secure services.”

10. Sustainability mindset

And finally, here’s an ITSM trend in the makings. Business sustainability is starting to catch the attention of IT leaders out there, and it might be turning into a relevant IT skill in demand for 2025.

Jouravlev is one of the specialists that advised IT professionals to “adopt a sustainability mindset and learn various ways to meet increasing sustainability requirements to all aspects of IT and service management, including product and services, service value streams, and practices. Those responsible for governance will need to ensure effective sustainability governance.”

But Karu also mentioned this and related it to value:



"As continual improvement and sustainability are rapidly becoming part of the work, rather than an afterthought, IT professionals need a good understanding of their role in the value-creation process to get the most and give the most."

Kaimar Karu
Partner at Mindbridge


11. Ability to move away from ITSM

It’s time to wrap up this list with what is perhaps the most controversial IT skill in demand: moving away from IT Service Management. Wait, what?



"Evolve from IT service management, through enterprise service management (ESM), to service management as a universal discipline practiced by organizations across their resources, products, and services, including technology, people, partnerships, and workflows - all 'four dimensions of service management', as ITIL calls them."

Roman Jouravlev
ITIL 4 Development Manager and Lead Architect at AXELOS


You read it, it’s not that ITSM will disappear. However, IT professionals that can move away from a fixed concept and embrace – as Murphy put it – mixology would be most appreciated.

“There’s no one size fits all in IT. The best of us will be able to take aspects from leading best practices to provide the best fit for the customer. Examples include combining KanBan boards with change enablement to limit work in progress or using Lean Sigma and Kaizen to provide structure and focus to improvement initiatives,” he explained.

And to leave you with just one more thought on this, Jouravlev made – yet another – perfect point to fully understand this: “Stop choosing between product and service management, service level agreements (SLAs) and experience level agreements (XLAs), ITIL and VeriSM, etc. Focus on value, stop preaching the cargo cults.”



In conclusion

After going through this list of possible IT skills in demand for 2025, the best way to start a summary is to remind you that it’s impossible to predict the future. However, based on current trends, concerns, and challenges, 11 IT specialists from different areas of expertise managed to provide you with a thoughtful overview of what might happen.

Of course, we built a skill set based on common elements, since IT professionals have widely varied roles and it’d be impossible to generalize on role-specific skills (as Roy Atkinson kindly reminded me when I approached him).

Nonetheless, what we know is that the industry is evolving, and it’s quite probable that most IT professionals won’t do the same role for years. So, in John Custy’s words “in the future, they’ll need to be more versatile and multidimensional.”

Ivor Macfarlane also provided a good summary on the topic by mentioning that, at the end of the day, what matters the most is broadly the skills that engineers have valued for centuries:

  • Understand what's needed, in terms of performance, time, and cost.
  • Know what's possible, what isn't and what might be possible later.
  • Design, build, test, verify – preferably as you go along.
  • Make good use of resources, physical and human.

Finally, if you were to leave with just one thought, one idea, then that indispensable skill that changes all is the human touch. Dave Van Herpen said it better, though: “What separates us from digital workflows, chatbots, IT management tools, and learning machines is our human touch. In this digital age, we experience a growing need for cardinal skills, like compassion, respect, sensitivity, and empathy. Truly caring about your colleagues, and consistently demonstrating the right values in your team will be critical to success in any future organization.”

Read other articles like this : DevOps, SRE, Service desk manager, Service desk agent

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