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Staying relevant

SFIA has previously been through four revision cycles to keep up with the changes in the modern information and communications technology landscape.

Version 6 includes some significant changes. They include but are not limited to the increased demand on digital services, enhanced security measures and the reinvigoration of relationship management. Cyber security, Information management, Big Data, Agile, Cloud, Digital and many other topics have developed significantly since the release of Version 5.

SFIA skills that used to be only found in people who would identify themselves as ‘IT professionals’ are now more distributed throughout organisations. Organisations themselves are moving away from traditional formal structures to the use of a more flexible pool of resources that can be aligned to short-term and agile teams for specific projects or activities. SFIA doesn’t define roles or jobs – it has always provided much more flexible ‘building blocks’ of skill descriptions at various levels of competence. It’s a model which already suits the changing organisational landscape as it moves from static job roles to flexible project-aligned team-building.

The use of SFIA to assess the skills within an organisation helps to provide a clear picture that answers the often otherwise unanswered question of ‘what skills do you have?’ By using SFIA to answer the next question, ‘what skills do you need?’ it provides the two essential elements needed to create a plan for closing the identified gaps and supporting continual improvement and transformational change alike. 

Changes in SFIA 6 to category names, the movement and grouping of skills, the consolidation of some skills, and other related changes are designed to provide an improved navigation around the framework, as well as break some unhelpful misdirection traps and habits that inhibited some users in the realisation of some of the benefits of SFIA.