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Report Highlights the Crucial Role of 3rd Party Help for Organisations in Successfully Implementing New Technologies

A new report by Capita in partnership with Cisco has examined how businesses perceive some of the latest technological trends in terms of which ones they believe of offer real opportunities and which ones they are willing and able to adopt to help them achieve competitive advantage going forward.  The online survey that formed the basis of the ‘Trends Vs Technologies’ report incorporated the views of 125 ICT decision makers split across four industries: legal, finance, insurance and manufacturing.

Recognising the Importance of Trends But Not Adopting Them Fully

Although 9 out of 10 ICT Decision makers thought that financial gains could be made by responding to new IT trends, most of those decision makers admitted that the new trends weren’t being adopted to a large extent by their companies. For example, 9 out of 10 ICT decision makers also recognised that Big Data is relevant to their industry, but only 64% say it is being implemented.  When it comes to the harnessing the potential of the IoT it’s the same situation – 70% said that IoT is relevant to their business but only 30% said it’s actually being adopted

Why Are These IT Trends Not Being Adopted?

The reasons why many of the latest potentially value-adding IT rends are not being adopted by companies include:

  • A lack of perceived business case for the new technology.
  • A lack of investment.
  • Risk aversion – a ‘wait and see’ approach, perhaps by the speed of change and the sheer number of potential options.
  • A lack of skills and knowledge to be able to identify opportunities for the new technologies or to implement them fully.

Still a Cloud Disconnect For Many

The report highlighted a big difference in the opinion of the IT industry and businesses about one important technology trend. Where the Cloud is concerned, even though the IT industry consider it to be a fully established technology only 29% of the IT decision makers in this survey thought that cloud-based solutions would be ready for implementation in their industry within the next 12 months, and only 34% thought it would be ready within the next 5 years!

Not the Right Time / Not Ready Yet

The results of the report seem to show that business IT decision makers take a similar view about other technologies.  For example 90% said that the Internet of Things (IoT) is more than 12 months away from having a solution ready to implement in their industry.

What Kinds of Opportunities For What Kinds of Technologies?

The report looked at the perceived benefits and opportunities for what are regarded to be 4 key technologies: Big Data, IoT, Wearables and AI.

Just over a quarter of IT decision makers could see no business case for AI and 44% saw no application for it in their industry.  Of those who had already adopted it however improved staff safety was seen as a benefit.

For IoT although nearly one third of those surveyed who had not yet embraced it saw security as a barrier to adoption, they also thought that it could help to improve customer service.  Those IT decision makers who had already implemented an IoT strategy found that they had benefited from increased operational efficiency.

For wearables even though nearly half of those surveyed saw no application in their industry for them at present, they thought that staff productivity would be a benefit of adopting them.

For Big Data more IT decision makers appeared to have a clearer idea of the opportunities and benefits it has to offer.  Over 40% of those surveyed cited improved profitability as the biggest observed and perceived benefit of Big Data technology for their businesses.

Perceived Skills Gap Identified in IT Decision Makers

One important finding of the report that the IT decision makers believed on the whole that they lacked many of the skills that would enable them to implement strategies for new technologies such as Big Data, IoT, Wearables and AI.

The importance of having the right skills to take advantage of new technological trends was also noted in a recent report by EEF, a trade body for manufacturers.  The report that resulted from EFF’s survey in association with Oracle noted that the value of skills is central to success in the ‘fourth industrial revolution’.

The report showed that although 61% of organisations questioned agreed that they could be using digital technologies to boost productivity, more than eight in ten firms said staff skills are key to achieving this.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

The report essentially shows that even though businesses may be aware of the different new technological trends, their IT decision makers may not be feeling confident enough that they have the knowledge and skills to identify which trends they should be focusing to benefit their business.  Third-party partnerships, and the help and advice of experts may therefore be crucial at this stage in helping businesses to adopt and successfully use the right technologies that could positively transform their business and provide important competitive advantages.

There is also a clear need for companies / organisations to make sure that any significant knowledge skills gap is addressed e.g. through training.  This of course also points to the need for 3rd party help.