Survey: CIOs Concerned over IT Skills Gap

CIOs are expressing a growing concern over the skills gaps on their IT teams between key sills they view as important and the capability of their team members to deliver on those skills, according to a recent CIO survey by the Harvey Nash Group and funded by PriceWaterhouseCoopers. IDN looks at where CIOs say their teams are falling down.

Tags: CIOs, Respondents, Skills, Business, Survey, Outsourcing, Offshoring,

"Even though respondents rated internal relationships positively, the abilities of IT teams to interact with other business units are somewhat lagging," the survey of CIOs found.

Making matters even more problematic, the survey also found "a large percentage of participants reported their organizations use no formal competency career model to match employee skills to needed functions, and training seems to be similarly ad hoc, with organizations relying by far on on-the-job training."

On this important theme, the Harvey Nash Group asked CIOs to rate the importance of a number of key "team skills", and then also asked the CIOs to assess the capability of their team to deliver on these skills. In some sectors, the gap is remarkably wide. Take a look.

Building, maintaining Relationships with Business
Important (67) Team is capable (30)

Managing, delivering IT operations
Important (61) Team is capable (39)

Planning future IT architecture & infrastructure
Important (55) Team is capable (26)

Managing IT developments, programs
Important (45) Team is capable (24)

Envisioning, managing IT sourcing strategy
Important (38) Team is capable (17)

Setting, managing IT sourcing strategy
Important (45) Team is capable (14)

Here are other top findings of the CIO survey:

  • IT budgets are growing again -- worldwide. IT spending limited by recession has led to pent up demand for operational improvement that's now being released. In addition, a significant portion of IT budgets in the U.S. has been devoted in recent years to complying with new regulatory requirements like Sarbanes-Oxley. With the initial controls assessment behind them, many respondents indicated their companies are once again feeling confident that they can afford to invest more in technology.

  • Security ranks as the top concern for U.S. companies - in contrast to firms in the UK The high U.S. ranking for security most likely stems partly from new regulations on information privacy, and partly from increased awareness of security threats that other global markets already seem to have some familiarity with.

  • CIOs aspire to be more strategic and more in tune with the needs of the business. The good news is that their aspirations come at a time when business executives want to deploy IT more strategically in their companies.
    This confluence of career and business goals sets the stage for CIOs to gain even more influence in their organizations.

  • CIOs have an increasing interest in corporate strategy. Most respondents answered positively when asked if their roles were becoming more
    strategic, but their stated desire to have more say suggests that IT is itching to flex some muscle. Nonetheless, a majority concedes that IT still needs to be more closely aligned with the business to achieve this goal.

  • Outsourcing a given. Offshoring increasing Nearly all respondents reported some outsourcing of IT functions and most expected it to increase. Nevertheless, many IT leaders are developing strong opinions as to what tasks can be successfully outsourced, suggesting that the case for outsourcing varies by industry and should be considered carefully. A limited number of respondents reported direct experience with offshoring, and all of those admitted some disappointment with initial results, especially in regards to quality.
    Nevertheless, those currently offshoring expect it to continue and even increase.

  • Many IT leaders expect to move, but are not looking for new jobs. While not actively job hunting, many IT leaders expect to move. Interestingly, most respondents reported being satisfied with their current roles and compensation, and though they said they were not actively looking for new positions, many reported that they expected to be working for other companies within the next two years. To consider a job change, respondents indicated that better work/life balance and greater involvement in corporate strategy were more motivating factors than the prospect of greater pay.

    Click here to download a copy of the survey from Harvey Nash Group.