A recent survey revealed that today’s IT leaders identify software-defined solutions as a critical component of successful operations in the digital world. In fact, nearly 2/3 of all CIOs acknowledge that they’re willing to invest not just into the software itself, but also the skills necessary to maximize the use of said software-defined solutions (SDx). One key area where this increased investment is evident is in IT process automation, both for improving operational efficiency and productivity as well as fortifying security against cyber-attacks. Let’s take a closer look at how senior IT leaders are adapting.
Primarily, studies are showing that the increased adoption of SDx solutions has also created a growing need for CIOs to recruit an entirely new breed of IT professional – one who is capable of being a liaison between IT and the rest of the organization. This ability allows the company to stay ahead of the curve in terms of the advanced technological solutions it employs, such as IT process automation, and to effectively bridge the gaps between other existing systems and departments to create a more cohesive and streamlined infrastructure.
Not only is this a fundamental shift in the skillset being sought by executives, but it’s also created an obvious need for additional financial investment in the process itself. As it turns out, many CIOs, CISOs and other key IT leaders are more than willing to step up to the plate and produce. In fact, 25% of those surveyed anticipate paying anywhere from 5-10% more while 22% say they expect to increase expenditure by 10-20%. This is closely aligned with the rate at which global organizations are adopting software-defined solutions.
The majority of polled professionals agree that the timeframe of the expected shift to more software-defined solutions will take place over the next three years, though a smaller percentage (34%) believes it will happen sooner, over the next two years. Furthermore, a bold one in 10 IT professionals is anticipating the impact of SDx to occur over the next 12 months. Regardless of where you happen to stand on this point, one thing is certain. The shift is happening, whether you like it or not. The best way for CIOs to prepare is to start actively investing in the addition of specific skillsets to their IT teams.
A significant challenge to this plan is the fact that the skillsets necessary to meet the changing landscape are currently in short supply. In the meantime, forward-thinking organizations are leveraging IT process automation as a way to bridge the skills gap and maintain strong marketplace presence, despite the lack of available qualified professionals. This can provide the foundation on which to build stronger, more effective teams of skilled human workers in the future while creating a valuable relationship between people and machine.
The so-called skills gap is also partly responsible for the changing viewpoint CIOs and other IT leaders have in terms of the types of abilities, backgrounds and strengths that they now look for in candidates. More than two thirds of those surveyed actually list business skills, such as communication and service management, as higher priority over technical abilities. Furthermore, the vast majority expect to redefine their IT department at some point in the relatively near future to make it more service-oriented. Growing adoption of automation tools and other integrative software solutions are expected to facilitate this shift in priorities.
In conclusion, as we forge ahead, the role of CIOs and other key IT leaders must adapt to the changing landscape around them. For many, this will require a fundamental shift in the way they think, plan and operate from a technology-based perspective to that of a more service-based mindset. This will enable more strategic hiring and adoption of the right tools – like IT process automation – to facilitate a smoother transition and create a more dynamic, competitive workplace environment.