The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey highlighted shifting CIO priorities due to CEOs demanding they focus on IT projects that make money rather than those that save money. This is part of a broader change in operating basis for IT which sees traditional priorities such as increasing operational efficiency and stable performance showing big drops in importance over the last few years.
This new emphasis on enhancing business value, however, demands more comprehensive skillsets than in previous years. Yet at the same time, cutbacks and the need to do more with less means that staff also have to be generalists. Modern IT personnel, therefore, are being asked to possess highly specialised skills while also having the ability to span a broader and more generalised range of IT functions.
That’s one of the reasons why the Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey discovered that CIOs feel they still are being hindered by the greatest technology skills shortage since the Great Recession. 65 percent of respondents said they think a lack of talent will prevent their organisation from keeping up with the pace of change. This is a big jump compared to the previous year.
It is clear, therefore, that the skills necessary to satisfy the CEO’s desire to translate IT projects into financial and business gain are in short supply. That’s why half of CIOs plan to increase investment in outsourcing this year, a definite increase over 2015. This is showing up most sharply in small and mid-sized businesses. One in ten CIOs at small organisations plan to rely on outsourcing and temporary labour for more than three quarters of their team.
Why the sudden surge in interest in outsourcing? The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO survey detected a fundamental change in the reason for outsourcing. No longer is it all about saving a few pounds. Instead, companies are desperate for access to the skillsets that outsourcers possess – skills that are often absent internally.
With CEOs asking for results that show up on the bottom line, CIOs have no choice but to find the best possible IT resources that exist in the outsourcing community.
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The 2016 Harvey Nash/KPMG CIO Survey: www.hnkpmgciosurvey.com
By Drew Robb, Contributor
Drew Robb is a freelance editor and writer, specialising in the Information Technology sector.