CIOs not ready for digital enterprise, Gartner says

IT leaders say they have a lot of catching up to do -- but are ready to go to the cloud for most of their solutions.

There has been a lot of discussion about how the roles of "traditional" information technology departments in the emerging digital enterprise. Some say IT is being pushed aside, and Gartner analysts have been predicting that many IT budgets and staff will be absorbed into the lines of business they serve, versus functioning as a standalone IT department. But IT leaders aren't taking it lying down -- and most expect to be running most of their businesses from the public cloud within the next few years.

IT leaders see their jobs and roles in a state of flux, a new survey Gartner finds. The consultancy recently released a survey of 2,300 CIOs that finds a majority, 51 percent, feel they are not ready for the new era descending upon us. (But then again, who is?)

In addition, the survey finds that 42 percent of IT leaders "don't feel that they have the talent needed to face this future." This is one of the underlying challenges that has been obscured by the sluggish economy in recent years, but is now coming to the fore. There simply aren't enough people in the talent pool with technology skills, and, almost paradoxically, there aren't enough technically trained people with business skills.

It sounds bleak, but such apprehension isn't limited to CIOs. Executives and employees all across the spectrum see the opportunities social, mobile, analytics and cloud offer.  At the same time, there is plenty of uncertainty as to what it means for their jobs, their departments and their organizations.

IT leaders are just not sitting back and watching it all swirl around them, either. In its survey, Gartner finds that 25 percent have already made significant investments in public cloud, "and the majority expect more than half of their company's business to be running over public cloud by 2020."

Interestingly as well, while 70 percent of CIOs plan to look to new sources of technology support, many of them will be partnering with small companies and startups.

Agile methodologies -- which emphasize working closely with users to rapidly deploy regular iterations of solutions -- are also gaining ground. Forty-five percent of companies have implemented agile methodologies for part of their development portfolio, the survey finds.   

(Thumbnail photo: USDA.)