The role of IT in setting strategic priorities and achieving business success is growing for companies around the world, according to new research released today by CompTIA. According to the trade organization’s research, more than three-quarters of businesses say technology is important or very important to their success; the majority plan solid increases in IT spending this year; and four in 10 have expectations of hiring new IT staff in 2013.
CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption & Workforce Issues study is the result of a survey of more than 1,250 business and IT executives in countries around the world, some with mature economies and others, maturing.
The large majority of businesses are interested in improving their utilization of IT, as just 15 percent say they are “exactly where we want to be.” They also agree that technology will be vital to achieving their strategic priorities, which include reaching new customers; improving staff productivity and capabilities; reducing costs and overhead; and innovating more effectively.
The survey revealed the top technology priorities for the next 12 months to include:
- Data storage and back-up
- Network infrastructure
- Web presence, including e-commerce
- Updating aging computers and software
Greater reliance on technology may prompt many businesses to increase their IT staff over the next 12 months. Skills rated as having the greatest importance include networks and infrastructure; database and information management; storage; IT support; and server and data center management. Many of these position will also require technical skills in emerging areas such as cloud computing and mobility.
Technology skills gaps are starting to impact businesses in many ways, including lower staff productivity, less than ideal customer support and engagement, slower new product development and speed to market and greater security threats.
The survey added that the majority of businesses expect IT certifications to increase in importance over the next two years. Nearly three-quarters of executives believe it’s important to test after training to confirm knowledge gains. Better than six in 10 say teams of IT staff holding certifications benefit from a common foundation of knowledge and have proven expertise.
The survey also reveals that 31 percent of firms make periodic use and 14 percent regular use of outside IT firms and consultants to assist with their technology needs. The most common services used are IT repairs and troubleshooting (52 percent of companies); deployment, installation and integration of It systems (49 percent); web design (44 percent); and general IT consulting and advisory services (34 percent).