Investment in new Technology is growing at a faster rate than at any time since 2006, but digital skills shortages risk holding companies back – CIO Survey 2014
More organisations are reporting increases in investment in technology than at any time since 2006 as business confidence returns and companies act fast to play catch up on their digital offering.
- Budget growth: Forty six per cent of CIOs and Technology leaders experienced budget growth in the last twelve months, up from 42 per cent last year, and the highest level of budget growth since 2006 (where 47 per cent of Technology leaders experienced budget growth).
- CEO priorities changing: Almost two-thirds of CEOs (63 per cent) now prioritise projects that generate cash (such as digital marketing, customer oriented systems and innovation led projects) over projects designed to deliver cost savings or improve operational performance. As business confidence improves, CEOs are shifting their attention away from cost saving (their top survey priority for five years between 2009 and 2013) to using technology to improve the effectiveness of their operations (top priority in 2014).
- Emergence of Chief Digital Officer: Seven per cent of organisations now employ Chief Digital Officers, a position that until recently did not exist, rising to 16 per cent for companies with technology budgets of $100m and over. CIOs are now less likely to have a direct role in shaping the digital strategy, with 50 per cent playing an active role in 2014, down from 56 per cent last year.
New projects and priorities are creating skills shortages:
- Big jump in skills shortage: Faced with new projects and shifting priorities, sixty per cent of Technology leaders (60%) are experiencing a skills shortage within their teams preventing their company keeping up with its competitors. This is up from 45 per cent last year, and represents the biggest increase since the survey started tracking this area in 2005.
- Regional differences: Leaders in Asia are most worried about skills shortages; however, in every region at least half the leaders polled voiced a similar concern.
UK 59%Asia 76%Northern Europe 61%West / Rest of Europe 60%Eastern Europe 57%North America 56%Australasia 50%Table: CIOs indicating concern that skills shortage is hindering progress
- Retention of talent a concern: Ninety per cent of CIOs and Technology leaders were concerned about retaining their best people, while 35 per cent were ‘greatly’ concerned. Larger companies (250 technology staff or more) are 46 per cent more likely than smaller companies (less than 50 technology staff) to be ‘greatly’ concerned; suggesting that in the Technology sector smaller, high growth companies are more attractive to talented Technology professionals.
- Emphasis on ‘doing’ skills: Change management and Project management skills are in greatest demand followed by hands-on software development skills and IT strategy.
Dr Jonathan Mitchell, Chairman of Harvey Nash’s global CIO Practice commented:
“After six years of sluggish activity, this report clearly shows that 2014 is a watershed year. CIOs and Technology leaders are seeing growing budgets and growing prominence in their organisation as CEOs are turning to technology to drive growth. However, significant challenges lie ahead. This year has seen a worrying increase in the number of leaders citing concerns about skills shortages. To be successful, organisations will not only need a clear technology strategy, but they will also need the right people to deliver it.”
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