IT Execs Balancing Tension Between Accelerated Transformation and Talent, Supply Constraints, Insight Study Finds
- 95% of IT decision makers say the impact of the pandemic accelerated business transformation priorities
- As 63% look for new talent, 89% are shifting more IT projects to partners
- 95% relying on outside help to shape business transformation strategy
- 91% impacted to at least some extent by IT supply chain disruption
TEMPE, Ariz.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In 2021, on average, new technology investments were split nearly evenly in support of business transformation (47%) and “keep the lights on” IT modernization (53%), according to the Insight Intelligent Technology™ Report 2022. The annual progress report of 400 IT decision makers (“ITDMs”) at organizations based in North America is conducted by Insight Enterprises (Nasdaq: NSIT), the global provider of Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ that maximize the value of IT, in partnership with IDG Research Services.
The report examined how companies are defining their long-term IT strategies to meet the changing, post-pandemic expectations of their businesses, their employees, and the market more broadly. It found that two-thirds (67%) strongly agree that their organizations have succeeded in adapting to marketplace changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic by incorporating new technologies and IT processes.
“The question now becomes how companies can sustain and build on their progress. This comes down to being ambitious in their pursuit of new business transformation strategies while investing in the underlying IT infrastructure that powers everything — from collaboration tools enabling remote work to automation and edge computing,” said Stan Lequin, senior vice president and general manager of solutions at Insight. “But IT executives are grappling with real challenges. Talent shortages and global supply chain issues impede progress as IT is being tasked with more responsibility than ever before to power the business, and our new report also identifies several internal roadblocks, too.”
IT Leaders Drive Modernization and Transformation, Simultaneously
Over the next 12 months, ITDMs are concentrating heavily on upgrading their cloud environment. Their top investment priorities for modernizing their IT foundation are security (51%), cloud infrastructure and platform managed services (37%), data analytics/BI platforms (37%), software as a service (34%), and cloud monitoring/management (32%).
As ITDMs look outward over the next three years, the focus is squarely on energizing the intelligent use of data. Respondents expect AI/machine learning (36%), high-performance computing (34%), BI/data analytics (32%) and digital workplace technologies (31%) to have the most impact on transformation strategies. DevOps tools (28%) and IoT/edge computing (25%) also will be among their top gamechangers.
The greatest hindrance to IT modernization comes from within, as 61% cited internal challenges as bigger roadblocks than external factors. Security/data privacy deficiencies (40%), competing priorities (35%), upfront costs (32%), and cloud complexity (32%) are top challenges within organizations.
IT Responsibilities Widen, Even Amid a Talent Shortage
Since February 2020, IT has taken on new responsibilities in several areas, including cybersecurity (78%), cloud architecture (72%) and IT procurement (68%), the report finds.
While the obligations of IT have expanded significantly amid the backdrop of the pandemic, ITDMs remain concerned about the competitive landscape. Respondents cite competitor product or services improvements (62%) and innovative market disruptors (53%) as their greatest perceived threats. Yet 41% also said their organization’s own ability to adapt to change and the risk of losing IT talent, respectively, were top inhibitors to remaining competitive.
A shortage of talent across the IT sector impedes business functions as ITDMs are focusing on safeguarding against perceived threats: more than half of respondents (52%) report employee attrition on their IT teams, with 45% citing resulting gaps in skills and talent due to the changing demand. To address this challenge, 63% plan to hire new IT talent over the next 12 months.
IT Supply Chain Disruptions Impede Progress, Efficiency
Over nine in 10 ITDMs (91%) say they are being impacted to at least some extent by IT supply chain disruption (49% to a great extent and 42% to some extent).
In response, 44% plan to shift application processing requirements to the cloud to lessen the impact of IT supply chain disruption. Other measures to soften the impact include avoiding last minute, ad-hoc purchases (43%) and making improvements to forecasting processes to gain longer-term visibility into needs (42%).
“The difficult reality is that global supply chain issues will continue well into 2022 and likely beyond. While this is a very challenging time, the disruption has forced organizations to make necessary changes in planning, purchasing and processing that will better position them to manage volatility now and in the future,” said Megan Amdahl, senior vice president, partner alliances tech enterprise sales, Insight.
Collaboration is Key When Driving Transformation Efforts
Considering the depth of the business imperatives owned by IT, most respondents (95%) indicate their organizations will rely on third parties to shape business transformation strategy (53% to a great extent).
This kind of collaboration is only expected to ramp up: most respondents (89%) expect the volume of IT projects offloaded to a third party to increase over the next 12 months. The greatest areas of needed support in this period will be cloud services (36%), optimizing the cloud environment (32%), IT cost management (30%), technology selection strategy (28%) and security/risk management (28%).
“C-Suite executives must think holistically about the IT ecosystem and how digital transformation and IT modernization go hand in hand. With resources at a premium, the emphasis has been on building resiliency vs. returning to innovation,” said Matt Jackson, vice president of digital innovation, Insight. “But now is also a good time for business leaders to plan for the future. They have an opportunity to re-envision what their businesses will look like moving forward, and the results suggest they’re starting to lean into this more.”
To read the complete “Insight Intelligent Technology Report 2022: IT Ambitions for Business Transformation,” go to insight.com/ITReport. For more information on Insight, visit insight.com or call 800-INSIGHT.
The 23-question survey was conducted online by IDG among 400 IT decision-makers (director level and above) who are employed at an organization in the U.S. or Canada with between 500 and 10,000 employees across a mix of vertical industries. The research was fielded between Sept. 2-17, 2021, with an aim to understand how commercial and enterprise businesses are defining their long-term IT modernization and broader business transformation strategies to meet changing market demands.
Today, every business is a technology business. Insight Enterprises Inc. empowers organizations of all sizes with Insight Intelligent Technology Solutions™ and services to maximize the business value of IT. As a Fortune 500-ranked global provider of Digital Innovation, Cloud + Data Center Transformation and Connected Workforce solutions and services, we help clients successfully manage their IT today while transforming for tomorrow. From IT strategy and design to implementation, management and supply chain optimization, our employees help clients innovate and optimize their operations to run business smarter. Discover more at insight.com. NSIT
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