Mark Carrel -

The heart wants AI and M2M but the head knows skills are a problem

Research from SolarWinds has revealed that legacy infrastructure and skills gaps are causing problems for those customers trying to embark on digital transformation projects

Customers are increasing investments in cloud and hybrid IT and are keen to work out how they can take advantage of AI and machine learning but most are nowhere near being able to overlay fresh demands on an ageing infrastructure.

IT management software provider SolarWinds has produced its fifth annual IT Trends Report and given it the title The Intersection of Hype and Performance to describe the fluid situation most customers are in as they undertake a digital transformation journey.

On the investment front the priority is cloud and hybrid but the speed at which the changes have hit the existing infrastructure has meant that not far off half of customers are struggling to cope, with many getting bogged down in trouble shooting and maintenance issues.

Although those in the IT department seem to be aware of the challenges a combination of factors, including inadequate organisational strategy and training are making life harder and exacerbating the skills shortages.

“The narrative in today’s IT industry revolves around transformative technologies like AI, machine learning, blockchain, and more. These technologies are unquestionably important, but the results of this year’s study reveal that IT professionals are still prioritising investments in technologies that help run day-to-day operations, and choosing initiatives that deliver more immediate value,” said Joe Kim, executive vice president and global chief technology officer, SolarWinds.

“The SolarWinds IT Trends Report 2018 shows IT professionals are focusing in on proven technologies that deliver value today, like cloud and containers, with an eye toward AI for tomorrow," he added.

The skills issue is a long running one on the channel and many resellers have already been alerted to the opportunities that are out there for those that have the ability to plug skill gaps and help customers on their digital transformation journeys.

Findings from CompTIA in February revealed that a third of UK tech leaders were worried that this year was going to be even harder than last when it came to filling vacancies.

The industry group found that many firms were expecting growth this year, which put a further strain on recruitment.

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