Closing The Digital Skills Gap – [UK Industry Research]

53% of UK organisations say making effective use of technology is their biggest challenge over the next 12 months.

Cybersecurity and connectivity remain top of mind as organisations adapt to hybrid working models

More than half (53%) of UK organisations say making effective use of technology to meet their business needs is their biggest challenge over the next 12 months, according to research commissioned by Daisy Corporate Services (DCS), a leading provider of secure IT, communications and cloud services. In addition, almost half (47%) say improving digital skills is a challenge at a time when 2 in 5 (41%) organisations say that improving the performance of a distributed workforce is a top business priority.

The survey of 165 UK organisations across the private and public sector reveals that cybersecurity remains top of mind, with more than a third (35%) stating the increase in cybercrime presents a challenge over the next 12 months. Unsurprisingly, this has led to 50% of organisations saying that protection against cybercrime and data theft will be a technology investment priority.

“Technology undoubtedly played an important role in helping many organisations negotiate the pandemic. However, the research reveals there is a danger that some have tried to run before they can walk, which in turn has highlighted a skills gap,” said Lyndsey Charlton, COO at Daisy Corporate Services. “If organisations are to maximise their current and future technology investments, it is vital they provide their employees with the necessary training and support. This will not only boost productivity but also improve cybersecurity – allowing organisations to educate employees to use technology in secure manner.”

With growing numbers of organisations adopting hybrid working models, the ability for employees to work from anywhere has become increasingly important. This is reflected in organisations other technology investment priorities over the next 12 months, where cloud and hosting services (53%), Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 (47%), and business-grade connectivity (44%) are the most popular responses.

When it comes to buying and managing technology, the survey reveals that most organisations see value in working with partners, but at the same time they want greater flexibility and resilience. With many organisations still needing to transform legacy systems more than half (59%) of organisations say they want to manage some technologies in house and work with partners to manage the rest. At the same time, a third (34%) state that building a more resilient and flexible supply chain is a top business priority in the next 12 months.

The survey also reveals a growing understanding of the role technology can play in contributing to Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) – almost three-quarters (72%) of organisations say their board understands how technology can contribute to its ESG agenda.

“Many organisations had to pivot almost overnight to support new working models and IT has been essential in ensuring “business as usual”. With investments in connectivity, security and collaboration technologies showing no sign of slowing down, the onus is on organisations to effectively manage their ever-evolving IT estates. For the majority, that means working with a partner that can quickly respond to changing business requirements and provide guidance on future technology adoption,” added Charlton.