IT skills gap delays adoption of new technology trends

A lack of skills and understanding could be holding back the implementation of new technological trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI).

New research from Capita Technology Solutions in partnership with Cisco surveyed 125 IT decision makers across four target industries - legal, finance, insurance, and manufacturing - to measure the disconnect between IT trends and the technology deployment and examine results by industry.

One key discovery is a rift between the relevance of a trend compared with the number of decision makers who say their industry has the skills to implement it.

While 70 percent of IT decision makers said the IoT was relevant to their business, 74 percent said they didn't have the skills to introduce IoT and 80 percent said they did not have the skills to capitalise on the data received from IoT. Only 30 percent said it was being implemented. Security remains the biggest challenge to IoT adoption, cited by 31 percent.

Similarly, 90 percent said big data was relevant to their business, but being implemented in only 39 percent of businesses and 64 percent didn't have the skills to recognise how they could use big data within their business.

AI is only being adopted by 25 percent of organisations with only eight percent saying it is being adopted in their own company. Eighty percent don't have the skills to implement or keep up to date with trends and developments in AI.

Nearly half (44 percent) believe there is no application for wearable technology in their sector. Cost was seen as the biggest barrier to adoption at 23 percent. Three quarters don't have the skills to implement wearables in their business and 76 percent said they don't have the skills to keep up to date with trends in wearable technology.

A vast majority, 78 percent, believe it is vital to keep up to date with the latest technology trends. Almost all agree financial gains can be made by responding to IT trends within their business and 86 percent agree that competitive advantage can be gained by responding to IT trends within their business.

“Whilst it is encouraging that levels of awareness around the strategic benefits of those trends are high, these results suggest more needs to be done to support businesses and help them close what is a substantial skills gap. Without the necessary skills and infrastructure needed to implement trends such as IoT and big data, businesses across the board will suffer long-term competitive disadvantage; it is up to us as an industry to find the best and right ways to deliver that support,” said Adam Jarvis, managing director, Capita Technology Solutions.