IT leaders think their departments are a staggering four years behind their most innovative competitors, according to new research launched by IT resourcing company Experis.
They believe over a quarter (29 percent) of their teams need to be replaced in order to drive digital transformation and increase productivity. However, the study implies that organisations are stifling IT workers’ ability to innovate, as employees feel their skills aren’t being fully utilised.
For the research report, Tomorrow’s Tech Teams, Experis surveyed 1,000 IT workers and 200 senior IT managers to explore whether the make-up of today’s IT department is creating the right environment for businesses to thrive and transform.
It reveals that organisations want their teams to deliver more cloud services (61 percent) and mobile apps (53 percent) and turn data into actionable insight (51 percent). However, 67 percent of IT leaders say they currently lack the balance of team expertise required to provide these services. They also believe they could increase overall productivity by 31 percent if their team had the right mix of IT skills, knowledge and experience.
However, IT workers hit back with claims that their potential isn’t being realised. The majority (71 percent) feel that their skills and knowledge are not being fully utilised by their organisations. They believe this is due to a lack of investment (46 percent) and up-to-date training (34 percent). In addition, over a third (34 percent) of IT workers think day-to-day problem solving is prioritised over innovation projects. The research shows a disconnect emerging between IT leaders and IT workers.
Geoff Smith, Managing Director, Experis Europe, commented: “Traditionally, the IT department was the practical powerhouse tasked with maintaining infrastructure, but now it is evolving to become more strategic. IT teams are starting to redefine business practices and put digital services at the heart of their organisation. Yet, this research suggests they aren’t in a fit state to facilitate this change. IT leaders think they lack the relevant team skills, but workers believe they aren’t given the opportunity to demonstrate their talent. This should be a wake-up call for UK businesses. They need to establish the capability of their IT department. There is an expectation that IT can drive strategic growth.
“Organisations must review and restructure their IT teams to enable innovation. This starts with greater investment in the right training that is tailored to employees and business requirements, while creating a culture that supports personal development. It’s also important to realise the potential of existing IT teams and encourage individuals to think creatively about projects that will impact the bottom line – whether it’s designing and implementing the latest mobile app or delivering cloud services. Hiring additional professionals who can either immediately fill the skills gap or are capable of acquiring new skills should also be considered. All this will enable tech teams to become more productive, strategic and results driven in order to drive IT transformation. Failure to do so could result in project failure.”