New research from Opengear, a Digi International company, found that, while 90% of CIOs say they are involved in decision-making for their organizations’ digital transformation efforts, only 17% of those CIOs report that network managers are similarly involved, and only 13% indicate that network engineers play a role. That research – a survey of CIOs and network engineers in the U.K., U.S., France, Germany, and Australia – highlights the need for greater collaboration to deliver digital transformation and for CIOs to increase the involvement of network engineers.
The survey found that just 28% of CIOs are very satisfied with their organization’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 organization 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 organizations,” 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.”