Rachel Ryan identifies the three biggest challenges digital transformation presents to the IT sector and how to address them.
Recent research carried out by MuleSoft in the US found that 85pc of IT leaders reported that their organisation will undergo digital transformation activities in 2019. For the majority, the main goal of this transformation is to increase IT operating efficiency, particularly as IT teams face greater demands across the organisation.
Based on the MuleSoft research and Interxion’s engagement with IT leaders across Europe, there are three pressure points which, if not addressed, could risk and damage an organisation’s digital transformation in the long term.
1. The knowledge gap
The numbers working in the IT sector across Europe continue to increase rapidly. In Ireland, the IT sector saw almost a 56pc increase in the numbers working in the sector over a five-year period, according to the most recent census report. However, 29pc of respondents to the MuleSoft research reported a lack of skills and experience within their own teams as a challenge.
If the current workforce doesn’t have the experience and skills needed to meet this challenge, there are two options: external resourcing and retraining. More than half (52pc) of respondents to the MuleSoft research stated that they plan to hire more talent, but this alone won’t solve the issue.
It’s true in all industries but even more so in the IT sector that staying up to date on the latest technology and innovation is not only paramount to an individual’s success but to the organisation’s. For its part, the IT sector must continue to facilitate learning, development and, crucially, innovation in IT teams to bridge this growing knowledge gap.
2. Customer service demands
It’s anticipated that demand for IT projects will increase by 32pc, according to MuleSoft, due to a number of factors, not least increasing customer demands for better and better service. As instantaneous responses, next-day delivery and personal service become the norm, the demands on the technology supporting customer service systems continue to increase and grow.
Integration and shared learning across teams within organisations can play a huge role in meeting these evolving needs and allow the best use of software solutions and platforms.
Despite the increasing demands placed on IT teams, respondents to MuleSoft’s survey stated that their IT budgets increased by less than 10pc in 2018. Considering the task ahead of IT teams with digital transformation taking place at every level across organisations, it’s clear that investment levels need to be higher to sustain the desired transformation levels.
Within the MuleSoft research, we see greater alignment between IT and business leaders. As much as 72pc of IT leaders report they are aligned with the business versus 57pc in 2018. This alignment will play a significant role in demonstrating the rising need for budget within the IT team if real innovation is to take place.
As the research and atmosphere within the IT sector shows, digital transformation is going to dominate the industry for some time to come. If organisations want to truly take advantage of this opportunity, they will see and understand the need to invest in skills and talent, enable learning across the organisation, and financially support the budget required to deliver on digital transformation ambitions.
By Rachel Ryan
Rachel Ryan is marketing manager at Interxion Ireland, where she leads marketing communication strategies, content development and online advertising as well as pioneering marketing campaigns.
A version of this article originally appeared on the Interxion blog.