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The other technology and method figures were spread more widely, but there was also a consistent showing for AI and the ‘as-a-service’ model.
The question we asked IT professionals was of course more speculative – what do they think should be prioritised? So, whilst the cybersecurity number was comparable for both cohorts, the gap in both cloud and business process automation is interesting.
Bubbling under in the comments were a few additional thoughts. One IT leader cited the more strategic ‘personalisation at scale’ as being a key priority. The IT professional comments were perhaps understandably more focused at keeping the lights on: upgrading laptops to Windows 10, improving architecture, focusing on data engineering first and data analysis second, full utilisation of Office365 and data privacy in app platforms.
Resources for 2022 success
Skills and the capability gap were key drivers for the answers in this section. Leadership team concerns figured highly too.
Leaders and professionals provided largely aligned answers. The overall numbers for additional resource needs: Enhanced IT capability and skills in existing workforce 63%; additional suitably qualified IT staff 48%. Enhanced IT capability and understanding from the leadership team at 43% only marginally pips higher budgets at 42%.
The most telling common number was those who consider they have enough resources to fulfil their organisation’s 2022 needs: only 10% of leaders agreed and only 9% of professionals.
We asked for further comments on needs and this raised some cultural issues – interestingly, these were exclusively amongst the professionals’ comments. Four key ones: ‘the need for an entrepreneurial mindset in teams’, ‘empathic management’ and, as one responder phrased it ‘a seriously inclusive culture.’ The final telling remark: ‘rather than what we can get away with, a practical implementation of care of users data.’
The capability gap
The capability gap is a complex and multi-faceted issue, so we asked for verbatim comments. We will analyse these more fully at a later date, as quantitative analysis is tricky, but here is a flavour of life at the sharp end. This is a short selection of comments from professionals:
- ‘Systemic technical risk – cross cutting risk affecting many small and large projects. These need to be addressed at the organisation level coherently and not fixed multiple times in multiple ways in an incoherent way.’
- ‘Lack of knowledge of cloud and lack of understanding of the IT estate and how it’s consumed by the business.’
- ‘DevOps has been ad-hoc and reactive; there must be investment in skills, planning, and repeatable practices.’
- ‘So-called “leaders” are being manipulated by consultants.’
A short selection of comments from leaders:
- ‘Effective technical communication across the business and with external stakeholders (translation from deep technical fields to communicable actions and customer insights).’
- ‘The usual juggle of keeping pace with technology changes and an ever more IT savvy workforce. Honestly? Objection handling and customer service skills are the biggest gap.’
- ‘Low IT literacy .’
- ‘SEO, UX and CX.’
Addressing the gaps
As a charity focused on education, BCS is always interested in how organisations plan to address these, the following chart shows answers from leaders.
The full report covers these areas in more detail, with additional sections on business priorities, IT project failure, IT representation at board level and a further selection of responder comments.