Guess what. Your IT team may lack the confidence necessary to handle the next major innovation needed for your business to compete. And small businesses may find themselves most at risk of being unable to upgrade systems to stay competitive.
The new SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2019: Skills for Tech Pros of Tomorrow reveals the scary figures. Today’s tech professionals have reached a crisis point. A reported 75% of the tech pros in the survey said they lack confidence managing future innovations.
According to SolarWinds, businesses who hire these professionals run the risk of performance and competitive advantage losses. And small businesses run the greatest risk without the resources to overcome these losses.
So the report projects hiring qualified talent will become more expensive. Because fewer individuals possess the ability to implement and manage future innovations.
SolarWinds says the problem relates to tech pros lacking time for upskilling. “The urgency of day-to-day tasks often impedes their ability to participate in learning sessions they find most valuable, like full-day courses, self-guided trainings, or webinars,” the report explains.
The data for this year’s North American report comes from a survey carried out in the US and Canada in December 2018. Respondents in the survey included 307 technology practitioners, managers, and directors. And these professionals represented public-and private-sector small, mid-size, and enterprise companies.
The report also studied other regions around the world including Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, and the United Kingdom. A total of 966 respondents took part in the survey across all regions.
Confidence by Technology Professionals
The initial finding that 3 out of 4 tech pros aren’t “completely confident” in handling innovation over the next three to five years seems alarming enough.
But the report also indicates 99% of the tech pros have worked to develop a skill over the past 12 months. So, many lack confidence even after trying to improve their technical skills.
The data points back to another study carried out by SolarWinds MSP and the 2112 Group. In that report, only about 1 in 4 partners felt they possessed expert level managed service skills. And a whopping 65% of the respondents claimed to possess only basic managed service skills.
The lack of confidence exists across the board in small, mid-sized and enterprise businesses. For example, 35% of small business tech pros reported completely unconfident in their ability to manage future changes. For mid-sized businesses the number dropped to 34%. And enterprise businesses fared better at just 31%.
What About the Technologies?
When it comes to the technologies the pros feel unequipped to manage their current skillset, they are the ones which are on the verge of breaking through for wider adoption.
More than half or 51% of the pros said artificial intelligence was first, followed by machine and/or deep learning at 45%, and blockchain at 34%.
As to the technologies which are essential for the day to day operations of their current situation, data sciences are in the forefront. In the past 12 months the skills the tech pros have prioritized are systems and infrastructure management (46%), cloud and/or hybrid IT (44%), and security management (39%).
Along this path, they also plan to develop skillsets which will be important in the transformation of their organization over the next three to five years. The top two skillsets are security management (49%) and hybrid IT deployment monitoring and management (48%).
Solutions: IT Upskilling and More
One of the problems tech pros have is their day-to-day IT tasks take time from career development. This was the case for 83% of the respondents, with 28% saying this always happens.
Considering tech pros are extremely proactive in upskilling, businesses should make a concerted effort to ensure they have the time need to make it happen.
SolarWinds also recommends for tech pros to collaborate more. Adding, it is now more important than ever to embrace collaboration and work with other teams.
It goes on to say, “This holds true when it comes to knowledge sharing, as well. A portion of tech pros around the world prefer to receive trainings primarily from colleagues, and so it’s important to remember that knowledge gained could and should be shared amongst peers for the greater good.”
At the end of the day this is a symbiotic relationship, when tech professionals have the necessary skills, it benefits the business and the pro.
Forecasting is essential in knowing the direction of technology and how technologies will change over time.