The IT department of today is evolving. No longer is it simply a technical support function for the business – the IT team is now expected to drive strategic growth, to help facilitate technological transformation and put digital at the heart of the organisation. Demand is increasing – and tech teams are under pressure to keep up with the pace of change.
And the appetite is there to deliver this – 85% of IT managers think they’re either progressive or moderately progressive in their thinking. Businesses recognise that technology is one of the most important contributors to economic growth, and IT employees want to position themselves as more integral parts of their organisations.
But here’s the rub – both IT managers and employees believe their own departments are a staggering four years behind their most innovative competitors. So why is the transformation not happening?
Here’s where the research gets really interesting. 67% of IT leaders say their teams currently lack the necessary expertise to deliver digital transformation. But the majority of IT workers (71% in fact) claim their skills and knowledge aren’t being fully utilised. There’s a disconnect emerging between managers and employees of tech teams.
According to tech employees, there are a number of factors preventing them from realising their full potential. Lack of investment – perhaps predictably – was seen as a major barrier. Worryingly, 34% of employees also thought that day-to-day maintenance tasks and troubleshooting were still prioritised over innovation projects – despite the new strategic expectations of the modern IT department.
But many of the primary concerns that emerged from the research can be traced back to the utilisation of skills and people. Lack of training, weak leadership, and a mismatch of people and projects all contribute.
Time to act
This should be a wake-up call for businesses. Organisations need to review and reshape their IT functions to enable innovation and get the very best out of their people. And this starts with training and development. Greater investment in the right training that is tailored to both employees’ and business requirements, while nurturing a culture that supports personal development. With the right skills and knowledge base, more productive and strategic tech teams are within reach.
Read more in Experis’ Tomorrow’s Tech Teams report.
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Author: Geoff Smith