The shortage of IT skills is the top impediment to digital transformation, according to a recent QuickPulse survey by IDG Research Services. That may not be much of a surprise to IT execs, who seem increasingly to be turning to managed services to meet the challenge.
Flexible network infrastructure, high-speed connectivity, and cloud services all tallied a 67% response rate as the top three priorities. That skills issue was cited among the top three impediments to transformation by 73% of the respondents and as number 1 by 43%. In response, using managed services is the first priority for 20%, second for 22%, and third for 22%.
It seems clear that increased reliance on managed services is helping IT leaders keep their head above water as they pursue digital transformation efforts and seek to improve network capabilities. “Organizations want the benefits of software-defined network technologies, but many are nervous about how to implement them,” says Jody Hagemann, director, Product Management and Strategy, with Comcast Business.
Another point of clarity is that IT strategy is now driving the transformation bus. The survey found that IT is ranked as the number 1 driver (43%), ahead of customer satisfaction (16%) and employee productivity (10%). Tallying up the first, second, and third drivers, IT ranks at 73%, compared to customer satisfaction, at 47%, and employee productivity, at 41%.
The data suggests that digital transformation has evolved from board-level strategic direction to feet-on-the-street practical implementation. Corporate strategy is the number 1 driver for just 4% of the survey respondents, whereas meeting line-of-business requirements is tops for 10%. And networking technology seems to be the key ingredient for success.