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The survey found that just 28% of CIOs are very satisfied with their organisation’s network engineering talent and only 15% of network engineers are very satisfied with CIO leadership. However, there are positive signs that the two groups can work together more closely to address digital transformation.
CIOs understand the importance of the skills IT and networking teams bring. More than three-quarters (78%) report they made more use of networking and IT teams over the past two years, while 80% said the need for network engineers has increased over the past five years. Unfortunately, these employees and their skills are often in short supply. Thirty-nine percent of CIOs report a lack of skills/resources among the biggest barriers to digital transformation today, and 34% cite a lack of digital skills among the biggest pain points once digital transformation projects are underway.
A greater focus on recruitment and retention is an increasing priority – more than one-third of CIOs (35%) say that, while they are looking to recruit, many have not yet begun the process. Moreover, 62% said their organisation had not initiated a process of change management to ensure network engineers are equipped to support digital transformation initiatives. More than half (54%) say their businesses have not yet delivered in-house technical training for these people.
“CIOs understand the importance of the digital capabilities and talents IT teams and network engineers bring to their organisations,” said Gary Marks, president of Opengear. They appreciate the shortage of these skills impacting the industry today. Yet more is needed from CIOs and other executives to nurture and support these professionals. We must develop greater communication among leadership and engineers – not just in recruitment but also in training and change management. We must commit to involving network professionals much more in strategic decision-making to drive the future of networking and digital transformation.”