Insufficient training contributing to poor strategic decisions regarding emerging tech
Making decisions about emerging tech not just the role of a C-level exec anymore
SINGAPORE’S IT personnel are not receiving the right training to best advise their businesses regarding emerging technologies, IT management software provider SolarWinds said, citing the results of a study it conducted.
The SolarWinds study revealed that many IT personnel feel ill-equipped to make informed, strategic decisions about emerging technologies, putting many Singapore businesses behind the curve, the company said in a statement.
These results are part of a survey of 220 Singapore IT decision makers from SMEs (small and medium enterprises) to enterprises (of up to 5,000+ employees), across a range of industries.
The survey was conducted in April 2014 to gauge how the changing role of IT is affecting businesses, SolarWinds said.
35% of Singapore IT personnel desire more opportunities to speak about IT with their company’s key decision makers, but a staggering 62% say they are only occasionally given the opportunity to do so.
When IT personnel were asked about how confident they were in providing guidance and expertise on emerging technologies – such as cloud computing, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), technical support and information security – the majority (64%) claimed they were only somewhat comfortable in their role to do so.
To address this, a staggering 61% of survey participants said they would need more training in their respective areas of responsibility, while approximately one-third (36%) said they would need a better understanding of the business.
In the past three to five years, mobility was cited as the most disruptive evolving technology for business by survey respondents (19%), while cloud computing was identified as the one technological advancement that has had the most significant impact on their company (33%). Both cloud computing (36%) and mobility (22%) are also expected to have the most significant impact on companies in the next three to five years.
In the next three to five years, IT roles will also undergo a sea change – IT professionals believe that key technologies and IT functions such as cloud computing or SaaS (43%), technical support (39%) and information security (36%) will become automated, further pointing to a need for IT staff to advance their skills in order to stay relevant.
Most significantly, the IT role that needs to adapt the most to evolving technology is information security, with almost one-quarter of respondents agreeing.
The findings reaffirm the need for more education to manage the growing list of issues faced by IT pros and also stress the importance of keeping up with the evolving threat landscape by understanding of the associated risks and treating security as a business critical function.
“Given that almost half of those polled (46%) said that increased infrastructure complexity has affected their work responsibilities, if IT staff are not provided with necessary support there can be a significant risk for organisations making business decisions about emerging technologies,” said Chris LaPoint, vice president of product management at SolarWinds.
“Companies must start ensuring the IT department is supplied with ongoing resources and training so that they can provide the level of expertise that is expected of them,” he added.
In the coming 12 months, IT department organisational growth is set to continue, with almost half (48%) of IT personnel expecting to gain new colleagues and over one-third (37%) expecting to stay at their organisation for another four to seven years.
As a result, companies should view attention to resources and training on the impact of emerging technologies as an investment.
“Making decisions about emerging technology is not just the role of a C-level executive anymore,” said LaPoint.
“IT pros should be at the heart of every organisation. They are expected to understand and manage technological developments, and when they have the correct resources, and are given the opportunity to consult, they can successfully advise on key IT business decisions affecting the larger organisation,” he added.
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