Less than 30% of IT professionals say their company is ready for digital shift, survey finds

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While companies want to become more digital, many are not laying the groundwork for that shift.

Many companies are not prepared for digital innovation, a majority of IT professionals believe. And that's directly opposite the perception of just under half of CEOs, who believe their organizations are prepared to shift quickly to digital business models.

"While 41% of executives believe their organizations understand and are prepared for innovation, only 29% of IT personnel believe the same," a new survey by Commvault and Quadrant Strategies revealed.

The report illustrates a wide gap between management expectations at many companies and the actual readiness of their IT divisions. Many IT personnel surveyed feel they lack the skills and technology to create the foundation required for digital change.

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Some companies are managing digital change and preparing for innovation successfully, while many others are still in vision mode.

"The warning signs are very clear,” said Afshin Mohamadi, partner at Quadrant Strategies. “While IT departments are meant to spearhead digital business, they aren't equipped to do so. IT personnel have significant doubts about their abilities to be the agents of change."

Among the findings:

  • The importance of data: More than 50% of respondents said "better data collection and management" and "new tools to analyze increasingly sophisticated data" as essential to the future success of their business.
  • Lack of access to data: More than 60%, including IT executives and IT personnel, think they have access to less than half of their organizations' data.
  • Perception gap: While 41% of executives believe their organizations understand and are prepared for innovation, only 29% of IT personnel believe the same. Further, over a third of IT personnel think executives would feel concerned, anxious or panicked if they knew more about their IT department, while another 16% said they'd be unhappy, angry or disgusted.
  • Lack of bandwidth: Most IT executives prioritize day-to-day operations over innovation, and IT personnel follow their lead.

According to the survey, 40% of companies don't yet have a formal, proactive plan for digital transformation, and only 46% of companies are investing in their IT employees to make sure they have the skills to prepare the organization for digital transformation. That jibes with the more than 50% of IT personnel who believe their roles will change radically and they will need to acquire new skills to stay relevant. The majority of IT professionals believe their companies are also not investing in the technology needed to implement digital transformation plans, like migrating data to the cloud, consolidating corporate data and securing that data no matter where it resides.

All is not lost, however: Leading technology companies are offering roads for companies to go down to be successful. Just last week, Skillsoft announced a digital transformation course series aimed at helping customers leverage digital technology at scale to drive productivity, increase efficiency and aim to spur innovation.

Along with the course series, Skillsoft released data that shows:

  • As digital transformation drives the creation of new business models, developing digital intelligence across all levels of organizations is imperative.
  • Successfully navigating the shift to digital and preparing an organization's talent base is one of the most significant challenges facing learning leaders today.

Laying the groundwork for a digital shift pays off: Companies that make the shift successfully have 16% higher revenues, generate 26% more profit and see 12% greater market valuations, Commvault and Quadrant Strategies found.