Gartner: I&O Skills Gap Will Cause 75 Percent of Organizations to Experience Visible Business Disruptions by 2020
March 29, 2018
Share this

Two-thirds of organizations are not adequately addressing the infrastructure and operations (I&O) skills gaps that will impede their digital business initiatives, according to Gartner, Inc. Successful I&O organizations will need to implement vastly different roles and technologies during the next five years.

Gartner forecasts that, by 2019, IT technical specialist hires will fall by more than 5 percent. Moreover, by 2021, 40 percent of IT staff will hold multiple roles, most of which will be business-related rather than technology-related.

"What made I&O leaders successful in the past is not what will make them thrive in the future," said Hank Marquis, Research Director at Gartner. "Instead of focusing on the 'what' of I&O jobs — such as technical knowledge, education and training — I&O leaders need to shift their focus to the 'how' — the behavioral competencies required."

According to Mr. Marquis, IT operations organizations are being forced to redefine their roles and value propositions from those of technology providers, to become trusted advisors and differentiated business partners. The challenge is that most I&O professionals do not yet have the broad skillsets that organizations will need from them.

Gartner predicts that, by 2020, 75 percent of organizations will experience visible business disruptions due to I&O skills gaps, which is an increase from less than 20 percent in 2016. Given the lack of digital dexterity for hire, I&O leaders must begin by developing these skills with the talent they already have. Most companies don't have an accurate inventory of the available skills of their current IT workforces, so this must be a first step.

"Corporate digital business universities will eventually emerge to close the skills gap. Experience-based career paths with formal mentoring for and within I&O will become standard for individual development," said Marquis. "In the meantime, I&O leaders should work hand-in-hand with HR to shift away from position-based development, develop a tactical skills gap analysis, and utilize tools and methods for improving I&O skills in-house."

Skills Gaps Occur Around Emerging Technology, as Well as Management

"The key to delivering digital value at scale is having the right people," said Marquis. "As well as the required skills, people must have the desire and aptitude to exploit existing and emerging technologies." Gartner predicts that, through 2020, 99 percent of artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives in IT service management will fail, due to the lack of an established knowledge management (KM) foundation.

"Hype about AI is growing, as consumers become familiar with virtual assistants using conversational platforms," said Chris Matchett, Principal Research Analyst at Gartner. "I&O leaders responsible for the IT service desk are looking to exploit this to optimize IT support, but neither the technology nor the workplace is really ready to depend on virtual agents."

KM is essential for a chatbot or virtual support agent (VSA) to provide answers to business consumers, but the response can only repeat scripted solutions when based on existing data from a static knowledge base. VSAs without access to this rich source of knowledge cannot provide intelligent responses, forcing I&O leaders to establish or improve KM initiatives.

Before implementing chatbot or VSA technology, Gartner recommends establishing a foundation in KM by using techniques such as knowledge-centered service that focus on knowledge as a key asset.

Once chatbots and VSAs are in use, care should be taken to avoid conversational dead ends by automating escalation to traditional channels when knowledge responses fail to satisfy the issue. Logic should also be embedded into the chatbot to collect user feedback and identify the relevance of knowledge responses.

Share this

The Latest

June 15, 2018

When it comes to their own companies, 50% of IT stakeholders think they are leaders and will disrupt, while 50% feel they are behind and will be disrupted by the competition in 2018, according to a new survey of IT stakeholders from Alfresco Software and Dimensional Research. The report, Digital Disruption: Disrupt or Be Disrupted, is a wake-up call for the C-suite ...

June 14, 2018

If you are like most IT professionals, which I am sure you are, you are dealing with a lot issues. Typical issues include ...

June 13, 2018

The importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning for customer insight, product support, operational efficiency, and capacity planning are well-established, however, the benefits of monitoring data in those use cases is still evolving. Three main factors obscuring the benefits of data monitoring are the infinite volume of data, its diversity, and inconsistency ...

June 11, 2018

Imagine this: after a fantastic night's sleep, you walk into the office ready to attack the day. You sit down at your desk ready to go, and your computer starts acting up. You call the help desk, but all IT can do is create a ticket for you and transfer it to another team to help you as soon as possible ...

June 08, 2018

As many IT workers develop greater technology skills and apply them to advance their careers, many digital workers in non-IT departments believe their CIO is out of touch with their technology needs. A Gartner, Inc. survey found that less than 50 percent of workers (both IT and non-IT) believe their CIOs are aware of digital technology problems that affect them ...

June 07, 2018

CIOs of 73% of organizations say the need for speed in digital innovation is putting customer experience at risk, according to an independent global survey of 800 CIOs commissioned by Dynatrace ...

June 05, 2018

Digital Transformation requires more than just the latest technology, it's a mindset that iterative change is on the way and should be embraced. This also requires us to factor in the people and process parts of the equation and find ways to measure the end-user-experience (EUE). One way to do this is to sponsor an Application Performance Monitoring (APM) initiative that can provide visibility to the business, help communicate the progress, and highlight the impacts to the organization. ...

June 01, 2018

While DevSecOps, much like DevOps itself, is more about changing IT culture than employing certain types of technology, some tools can be an important support. To find out what the right tools are, DEVOPSdigest asked experts from across the IT industry for their opinions on the top tools to support DevSecOps ...

May 31, 2018

Availability has cemented itself as one of the most essential elements of any successful data center. However today, what many organizations are beginning to realize — sometimes the hard way — is that traditional methodologies and technologies for high availability (HA) have limits. What's needed instead is a new approach that enables the dynamic transfer of workloads in IT environments based on optimizing the particular job at hand ...

May 30, 2018

Self-driving cars, integrated toys, smart home appliances, and even critical infrastructure have all become part of the ecosystem of Internet of Things (IoT) devices, which begs the concerning question, "How will network administrators process all the data generated?" ...