Germany and U.S. Ahead of the Digital Transformation Skills Game, While UK Lags Behind
Brocade announced a new GLOBAL DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION SKILLS STUDY, which aims to uncover how well-placed global IT leaders consider themselves and their teams to be in terms of meeting current and future business demands. Of the six markets surveyed, Germany was found to be the best prepared to meet its digital transformation goals, closely followed by the U.S., while the UK lagged well behind its counterparts.
The research, which surveyed 630 IT leaders in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Singapore, indicates that many organisations are at a tipping point, as new technology demands are set to outstrip the skills supply. Organisations that address this now through additional skills training will be in the strongest position to ensure business growth and competitive advantage.
Overall, an encouraging 91 percent of global IT leaders acknowledge that IT departments are currently recognised as very important or critical to innovation and business growth. However, more than half (54 percent) predict they will struggle with a lack of IT talent in 12 months. Contributing factors identified from the research include skills shortages, a prevalence of outdated skills, lack of commitment to training at the corporate board level, and the rapidly changing technology environment.
“Businesses are approaching the peak of IT strategic influence. Now is the moment that IT teams feel they have the strongest opportunity to influence the transformation of their organisations,” said Christine Heckart, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of ecosystems, Brocade. However, with a rapidly changing technology landscape and potential impact on international labour markets, it is critical that IT receives the right training to further develop their skills and business relevance.”
The research also found that skills planning had to be aligned with other areas of business planning to avoid the risk of a technology skills deficit, where IT teams are expected to deliver the benefits of technologies that they are ill-equipped to implement.
Staff shortages and outdated skills are preventing ITDMs from delivering on current business demands
Organisations are attempting to move their IT departments away from their traditional roles, but the lack of skills and the time required to learn those skills have held them back. IT decision makers (ITDM) believe this could be a major contributor to their inability to meet business demands, putting organisations at risk of falling behind their competitors and losing customers.
The IT skills gap is only likely to get worse and organisations need to act now
The political landscape is also a contributing factor in the widening skills gap. As market uncertainty intensifies in the next few years, it is more important than ever for IT departments to remain agile and take advantage of new technologies.
Training time and investment will prove to be business-critical
Training continues to be an issue as day-to-day IT maintenance tasks take priority. For organizations to address the technical skills deficit, they first need to invest time and money — or face the consequences.
IT professionals need to take control of their professional future
The research also showed that IT professionals at all levels must take increased responsibility for their own professional destiny, embracing the opportunities delivered by new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and all areas of IoT from device management to security.
AI could be a friend or foe
AI could revolutionise the IT skills that are required and the way that we work. AI is likely to replace a number of IT roles and tasks, but this doesn’t mean the end for the IT department. Employees need to have the right skills to be in a position to work alongside AI and embrace its future impact, so that organizations can unleash its full potential.
Vital role of the board in ensuring long-term IT skills development
Organisations’ boards will often dictate whether employees have the time and empowerment to develop their skills, but this is common in organisations that do not have the right support. The boards also have to ensure that skills and training improvements are aligned with other areas of business planning.
Data in the study also revealed four main personas of global IT leaders, all with different levels of effectiveness when it comes to pioneering digital transformation projects and managing the skills of their teams.
The study was conducted by independent research house Vanson Bourne in March 2017. 630 IT decision-makers in organisations with more than 500 employees in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Singapore and Australia were surveyed.
This article has been taken from Brocade.com.