IT Leaders Struggle to Maximize Benefits of New Technologies

More than half of IT professionals surveyed said it took longer than anticipated for the last significant new technology to start impacting business.

it management and solarwinds

While 93 percent of IT professionals surveyed said adopting significant new technologies is important, many cited barriers to successful adoption that have resulted in achieving mixed results, such as budget (77 percent) and shortage of personnel (49 percent), according to a new study from IT management software vendor SolarWinds.

The annual IT Trends Report, which is based on a survey of 231 IT practitioners, managers and directors in the U.S. and Canada, found that nearly 50 percent of survey-takers said more resources, such as budget, personnel and time, ranked as their number one need to feel more empowered.

More or better training and development (32 percent), greater IT department autonomy (29 percent), stronger CIO support when liaising with other business leaders (26 percent) and more or better strategic counsel and guidance from the CIO (24 percent) rounded out the list of IT's top five needs, the study found.

"With the golden age of trusted on-site consultants over, businesses are looking increasingly to vendors to provide training and education beyond just their respective products," Patrick Hubbard, head geek and technical product marketing director at SolarWinds, told eWEEK. "Cisco and Microsoft have long dominated the certification game, but 'upstarts' like VMware now offer well-designed certifications for emerging technologies in which they have investment."

Hubbard also noted some forward-looking, IT-centered online communities have begun expanding their education and training content to support new open technologies that are increasingly important to IT, but not owned by any one vendor, citing technologies like Open Compute, SDN, Docker and Linux as a few good examples.

More than half of IT professionals surveyed said it took longer than anticipated—23 percent said much longer—for the last significant new technology their organization adopted to start impacting business and/or end-user efficiency.

Nearly 90 percent of respondents said their organizations' end users were negatively affected by a performance or availability issue with business-critical technology in the past 12 months, and nearly a quarter of those reported that such issues occurred six times or more.

Only half of the survey participants said their organizations' last adoption of a significant new technology achieved expected ROI within the projected timeframe, while one-third said it took longer than expected, and 11 percent of those said it took much longer.

While 66 percent of respondents indicated they view their organizations' CIOs as enablers in adopting significant new technologies, nearly one-quarter said their CIOs are either a barrier or uninvolved.

Nearly all—93 percent—of IT professionals who responded to the survey indicated that adopting significant new technologies is at least somewhat important to their organizations' long-term success.

Of those, 48 percent said it is important, and another 20 percent said it is extremely important.

Budget limitations ranked as the top barrier to adopting those significant new technologies, followed by the inability to convince decision makers of the need and benefit and a shortage of IT personnel to implement and manage the technology.

"Organizations must adopt a more discovery-based, learning-forward strategy to bridge the knowledge gap and get the process moving, but that will require at least a small leap of faith and a bit of short-term speculative investments," Hubbard said.