IT skills shortage forces 31% of organizations to prioritize investment in IT staff education, up from 19% pre-pandemic: Study

At the end of 2019, data security was the #1 priority and it remains there now, with a whopping 76% of organizations naming it as one of their IT projects for the rest of 2020, according to Netwrix?s 2020 IT Trends Report: Reshaped Reality. Network security tied for the top slot, owing to the rapidly growing remote workforce. Education of IT staff has increased from 19% to 31%, which suggests that organizations are struggling to address these key concerns amid the global IT skills shortage. Cloud migration and IT innovative projects quickly became less important for most organizations during these uncertain times.

The study summarizes feedback from 937 IT professionals worldwide about the projects they are planning for the rest of the year. Netwrix conducted this online survey in June 2020 to understand how the pandemic and ensuing work-from-home initiatives forced organizations to change their IT priorities since a similar survey at the end of 2019. In both studies, Netwrix asked respondents to name their top five IT projects for the coming months.

Other findings discovered by the survey include:

  • 36% of respondents plan to prioritize investment in automation of IT tasks; organizations with 1,001?5,000 employees are the most focused on automation (47% named it one of their top priorities). Overall, however, interest in automation dropped by 17 percentage points.
  • Interest in cybersecurity awareness remains high, with just over 50% of respondents listing it as a priority in both surveys.
  • 38% of CIOs and IT directors now plan to invest in the education of IT personnel. Pre-pandemic, only 20% had it on their top five list.
  • Only 24% of organizations in the U.S. plan to focus on cloud migration projects. This number is down from 40% pre-pandemic.
  • 28% of respondents will prioritize digital transformation. However, interest varies a great deal by sector ? for instance, the percentage of public institutions naming this project has more than doubled, from 26% pre-pandemic to 56% today.
  • The previous survey found that only a few organizations were going to focus on AI projects. Even fewer are interested now (12%).

?We are all living in a new economic reality following the virus outbreak and work-from-home initiatives. Organizations are smart to focus on what matters most ? protecting their most important data assets. Using products that help automate the process of identifying and securing these assets will result in a more secure, more resilient organization coming out of this crisis,? says Steve Dickson, CEO of Netwrix.

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