Talent shortages as biggest barrier to emerging technologies adoption: Gartner Survey

IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64 per cent of emerging technologies, compared with just four per cent in 2020, according to a new survey from Gartner, Inc.  A lack of talent availability was cited far more often than other barriers this year, such as implementation cost (29 per cent) or security risk (seven per cent).

Talent availability is cited as a leading factor inhibiting adoption among all six technology domains included in the survey – compute infrastructure and platform services, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation and storage and database. IT executives cited talent availability as the main adoption risk factor for the majority of IT automation technologies (75 per cent) and nearly half of digital workplace technologies (41 per cent).

“The ongoing push toward remote work and the acceleration of hiring plans in 2021 has exacerbated IT talent scarcity, especially for sourcing skills that enable cloud and edge, automation and continuous delivery. As one example, of all the IT automation technologies profiled in the survey, only 20 per cent of them have moved ahead in the adoption cycle since 2020. The issue of talent is to blame here,” said Yinuo Geng, Research Vice President, Gartner.

Despite talent challenges, infrastructure and operations (I&O) and other IT leaders have increased the adoption of emerging technologies to drive innovation as organisations begin to recover from the pandemic. Across all technology domains, 58 per cent of respondents reported either an increase or a plan to increase emerging technology investment in 2021, compared with 29 per cent in 2020. Furthermore, I&O functions have witnessed a reduction in deployment timelines, with all technologies in deployment expected to reach adoption within the next six to 18 months.

“This indicates that organisations feel more comfortable directly deploying new technologies to accelerate growth, rather than relying on an extended observation period to develop the business case,” added Geng.

In addition, a greater number of leaders (both inside and outside of the IT function) are influencing technology investment decisions this year, driving the trend of “democratised delivery.” In 2021, 82 per cent of IT leaders either agree or strongly agree that enterprise leaders outside of IT influence emerging technology adoption decisions across all technology domains evaluated.

Resilience and improving critical IT infrastructure are top priorities among I&O and other IT leaders in 2021, according to the survey. As a result, they are prioritising cloud deployments and investments in security technologies.

To allow the smooth movement of information between physical and virtual locations, organisations are investing heavily in creating a strong hybrid cloud base, supported by multicloud technologies. Distributed cloud systems, cloud access security brokers (CASBs) and cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) are among those reaching the deployment phase in 2021, with respondents stating that resilience is the primary investment driver for 63 per cent of these cloud technologies.

emerging technologies adoptionGartner SurveyTalent shortages
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