Staff shortages and outdated skills are preventing IT decision makers from delivering on current business demands, according to Brocade's new Global Digital Transformation Skills Study.
Most (91 percent) of the 630 IT leaders in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Australia, and Singapore polled agree that IT departments are currently recognised as very important or critical to innovation and business growth. However, 54 percent predict they will struggle with a lack of IT talent in 12 months.
Specific to Singapore, about one in four IT leaders claimed that they cannot deliver on current business demand due to staff shortages. This lack of access to talent is expected to prevent organisations from implementing new technologies efficiently, lead to a decrease in employee satisfaction, and result in the loss of market share, according to Brocade.
The study also found that globally, insufficient budget (45 percent) and training time (45 percent) are constraining IT departments' attempts to develop skills more than any other factors. Respondents in Singapore said that their organisations only allocate four hours per week for learning and skills development.
There is thus a consistent demand from IT professionals globally to have 22 percent of their work hours dedicated to upskilling, and for their organisations to spend more money on training to close the skills gap (67 percent).
When asked to identify the most critical skill to their future progression, most global respondents cited cybersecurity (22 percent), artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things security (both tied at 18 percent).
Respondents also acknowledged that AI is likely to replace a number of IT roles and tasks including desktop support (23 percent), data analyst (20 percent), and software testers (17 percent). As such, 56 percent of the respondents globally believe that developing AI-related skills is key to securing a role in the future.
"Businesses are approaching the peak of IT strategic influence. Now is the moment that IT teams feel they have the strongest opportunity to influence the transformation of their organisations," said Beni Sia, Regional Director for South East Asia, Brocade.
"With a rapidly changing technology landscape and potential impact on international labour markets, it's critical that IT receives the right training to further develop their skills and business relevance."
Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.