Tech skills shortage tipped to hamper digital transformation

LAN642 Tech skills shortage tipped to hamper digital transformation

Cultural change and lack of skills will be two of the biggest barriers facing companies in Asia Pacific undergoing much needed digital transformation, according to research firm IDC.

Fifty-seven percent of companies surveyed by IDC cited transforming culture as the greatest challenge to transformation. “A more open, collaborative culture has to take root before true innovation happens in the enterprise,” IDC said. It identified organisational roadblocks to change as being: security issues; complexity of change; management stuck on “what they know”; legacy infrastructure and systems; information silos; manual processes.

Fifty-three percent cited lack of skills and resources as the main barrier. “It is difficult for companies to execute on digital transformation for so many reasons, but primarily because the technologies that support digital transformation are so new,” IDC said.

“An organisation will have difficulty in finding staff with skills and experience in running programs of work supporting the third platform of IT (cloud, big data analytics, social business, mobility) and a new set of innovation accelerators such as cognitive systems, internet of things, robotics, augmented and virtual reality, 3D printing, and next generation security.”

If IDC’s predictions are fulfilled, organisations will need to move rapidly to overcome these barriers to digital transformation. The research firm predicts that a third of the top 20 companies in just about every industry sector will be significantly disrupted by 2018.

It lists estimates, by industry sector, of the percentage of traditional revenues that are at risk of disruption by 2018.

These range from as little as 10.9 percent for hospitality — likely to be disrupted by mobility, changes to customer behaviour, concepts of the shared economy and preference-matching — to 29 percent for utilities, likely to be disrupted by smart meters, solar technology, and batteries changing the role of the grid as a natural monopoly.

IDC sees enterprise digital transformations being underpinned by networking operations. “Simplified and secure network infrastructure reduces operational expenses, improves data security  (compliance, regulations, BYOD) and enables businesses to be more agile,” it says.

To meet their needs, IT vendors and service providers will have to move beyond a traditional commodity-sell to a software and services proposition that supports the unique digital transformation journey of each client, offer easy and cost-effective technology deployments through “as-a-service” models and respond to the requirements, conditions and rules of business that are distinct across various industries and across various markets.

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