Technology is advancing faster than ever due to the pandemic; we look at the need to further invest in IT in 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic made technology more critical than ever, with organizations’ success dependant on the company’s ability to adapt to remote working and an online storefront. IT leaders managed the digitization impressively in 2021, according to the recently released 2022 IT Priorities Report from Snow Software. This report surveyed 1,000 IT leaders in the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and India to analyze the issues and trends driving next year’s technology plan.
In this survey, 89% of IT leaders claimed that IT roles were undervalued pre-Covid but essential. Furthermore, a massive 90% claim these roles have become integral to the business. With this success comes an increase in digital innovation efforts: nine out of ten IT decision-makers say the pace of digital transformation has dramatically increased over the past year. However, this acceleration in digital transformation and innovation rate comes with threatening challenges.
While investing in new technology, leaders struggle to modernize while managing and overseeing the breadth of technology in their organization. There is a severe need for those with specialist knowledge who understand and manage all technology resources. These people can then provide context or reports on the IT sector, becoming critical to its success. As more technology deployments are planned, there comes a greater need for increased staff in this area. The complete visibility into business investments provided by technology intelligence will become integral to match the rapid pace of innovation.
Alastair Pooley, Chief Information Officer at Snow, comments, “The pace of change will not slow down, making it even more critical that IT and business leaders have excellent oversight of their technology estate, allowing them to effectively manage technology, optimize spend, and reduce risk which will, in turn, enable them to better weather future global events, and better prepare for organizational success.”
There are some that believe the new hybrid workplace is going to stay long after the Covid crisis. The investments many companies have made into remote working have made this area IT leaders are confident in maintaining, as 90% have reported they are confident in dealing with hybrid work efficiently. This confidence does come with a small level of concern. To manage their organization’s growing remote workforce, businesses need staff to maintain the hybrid work scheme, and 78% of leaders reported they believe it will become a burden in the future.
It is understandable that this can be seen as a growing burden as the need to maintain these systems and updates, manage where to invest and when can take up precious time. There is also the staff issue, as some IT staff may spend all of their time battling this issue while other tasks are left unfinished. Another serious problem is the possibility of a program breaking which could cost the company dearly. This fear has not stopped most companies from investing in this sector, though this has mainly been due to forced necessity rather than choice.
When we look at where organizations invest their money, the most significant spend increases came in two predictable areas: security and cloud, over the past year. The prices for these services may increase due to demand and the need for updates/ development, so many companies need to be prepared if they have not already invested that it may cost them more in the future to catch up with the remote hybrid software.
The top priorities for IT leaders in 2022 presently include adopting new technology to improve day-to-day operations, reducing IT costs, and improving customer service and satisfaction. These goals are in apparent conflict with one another. This is mainly because adopting new technology will cost the company, making it hard to reduce IT costs. To balance these priorities moving forward, CIOs will need to take a more advanced approach to manage their technology environment. A huge 93% of leaders say IT must invest in tools and technologies to extract value from their data and turn it into actionable intelligence. This could, in some ways, then reduce the cost of IT or outweigh the cost by increasing profit.
While digital transformation is something all IT leaders are working to manage regardless of location, Germany tended to deviate from the rest of the world. The other regions consistently plan to spend more on various investments, prioritizing IT. Germany is the one country stating it will most likely intend to spend less on various technologies over the next year. This may be due to most German companies believing they already have a sound IT structure/ system in place, but with constant new developments coming out, it is hard to see how they can cut investments without being left behind.
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Overall, Covid has pushed IT innovation further and could easily be seen as a positive side-effect of the pandemic. Many have seen the benefit of these new systems and now need to weigh up whether the ongoing cost in the future is worth the outcome for their business. The survey from Snow shows that the majority of IT leaders agree that expanding these investments is the best course to follow.