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October 25, 2016

CIOs say IT skills gap hampers digital transformation

Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs revealed that spend on digital transformation is on the rise.

By Alexander Sword

A new survey by Gartner has revealed that CIOs feel the IT skills gap as the main obstacle to digital business.

The global survey of 2,598 CIOs found that spend on digitalisation is on the rise, despite a modest 2.2% increase in the enterprise IT budget.

An average of 34% of survey respondents reported that information-associated skills represent the largest gap, particularly those skills which are required for the newest, most advanced analytics environments.

The research firm said the skills that were earlier used in predigital diagnostic analytics are not enough for the new real-time data scenarios presented by the Internet of Things, personal analytics, operational technology and information ecosystems.

gartner-cio-2Gartner said CIOs will need to focus on their technology core, organisational capabilities and enterprise leadership in order to fully participate in a digital ecosystem.

According to the survey, CIOs are shifting their investment pattern in response to digital business, with average CIOs already spending 18% of their budget in support of digitalisation. The number is expected to increase to 28% by 2018.

Top performing businesses are already investing 34% of their IT budget on digital. The figure is forecasted to increase to 44% by 2018.

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Gartner noted that 79% of top performers indicate their participation in digital ecosystems compared with 49% and 24% for average and trailing performers, respectively.

Gartner research vice president Andy Rowsell-Jones said: “To create digital ecosystem-ready leadership, business leaders must re-evaluate leadership priorities, engage stakeholders and involve them across digital initiatives.

“Leaders that are digital ecosystem-ready are panoramic thinkers. They look for opportunity in every direction, cultivate diverse partnerships, and question the value propositions and business models of the past.”

Analytics, cloud services, digital market management and security were cited as planned top technology investments by survey respondents.

About 38% of respondents cited business intelligence (BI) and analytics in their top three priorities.

Among those surveyed, about 22% of average performers and 30% of trailing performers placed enterprise resource planning (ERP) in their top three technology priorities.

The research firm said only 8% of top performers ranked ERP in their top three, having likely invested sufficient to modernise ERP and shifted that investment to higher return activities.

GartnerEnterprises are making progress in the implementation of bimodal IT, which plays an important role in the creation of a digital ecosystem-ready organisation.

Survey findings suggest that, on average, 43% of respondents say that they are bimodal.

However, top performers far outpace average and trailing performers in their use of bimodal with 68% of all leading performers having adopted bimodal compared with just 17% of the trailing performers.

The survey found that, together with their CEOs, high-performing CIO leaders share a focus on growth and digitisation.

About 28% of the top performers, 21% of the average performers, and 24% of trailing performers identify growth as a top three priority.

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