Companies not ready for new technologies, survey says

While new technologies such as cloud computing, Big Data, mobile devices and social networks are catching on, businesses and IT departments are still trying to figure out the best ways to implement and manage them, according to a recent survey from The Open Group. 

Nearly all survey respondents (95%) said they see value in those technologies. However, just slightly over half (52%) say their companies are prepared to handle those new trends.

In addition, the 95% who see value in those tools includes 45% that say those technologies represent both an opportunity and a threat.

That could be a problem for companies since it might mean they are surpassed by competitors, and because in today’s environment, users will start adopting technologies on their own with or without IT’s approval and control.

Respondents were asked about what newly developing technologies their organizations had adopted. The most commonly used were:

  • mobile devices (fully adopted by 50% of organizations, while 37% are beginning to use them)
  • social media (33%, 35%)
  • private cloud computing (30%, 34%)
  • public cloud computing (26%, 31%)
  • Big Data (20%, 31%), and
  • the Internet of Things (17%, 21%).

Key obstacles remain

Since most respondents think those technologies can help their organizations, what obstacles are getting in the way of their adoption or preventing them from being used as effectively as possible? These were most common challenges listed by the survey respondents:

  • security (cited by 57%)
  • vendor lock-in (51%)
  • integration with other tools (45%)
  • regulatory compliance (42%)
  • delays in acquiring software (23%)
  • tools that don’t meet company’s unique needs (20%), and
  • technologies that are difficult to understand and use (19%).

What should IT do?

Despite those obstacles, it’s important that businesses start planning their approaches to new technology. Here are some keys to keep in mind during those planning stages:

1. Evaluate technology’s actual potential for your organization

There’s a lot of hype surrounding many of the latest tech trends. But it’s critical for companies to look past that and focus on the real, attainable goals the organization can accomplish. For example, Big Data may be a useful tool for some companies but not others. It’s important to know what data the company hopes to analyze, make sure the information can be captured, and know the business reasons it needs to be analyzed.

2. Make sure staff have the right skills

One of the common obstacles cited is that new technologies are difficult to understand. But it isn’t just the end users who need a certain level of skill when a new tool is implemented. Companies must start by having knowledgeable IT staff to guide the implementation and help users get adjusted.

That can be a challenge as technology professionals with those hot skills are in high demand. That’s why many companies are offering additional training in those emerging areas to IT employees currently on staff.

3. Pay attention to vendor contracts

As vendor lock-in is one of the top challenges cited by companies, it’s more important than ever to pay close attention to vendor contracts before they are signed and to go over existing agreements to stay familiar with all of the terms. Those contracts should allow services to be terminated reasonably and for data to be moved.

Make Smarter Tech Decisions

Get the latest IT news, trends, and insights - delivered weekly.

Privacy Policy