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Gartner Survey Reveals Talent Shortages as Biggest Barrier to Emerging Technologies Adoption

IT executives see the talent shortage as the most significant adoption barrier to 64% of emerging technologies, compared with just 4% in 2020, according to a new survey from Gartner, Inc. A lack of talent availability was cited far more often than other barriers this year, such as implementation cost (29%) or security risk (7%).

Talent availability is cited as a leading factor inhibiting adoption among all six technology domains included in the survey – compute infrastructure and platform services, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation and storage and database. IT executives cited talent availability as the main adoption risk factor for the majority of IT automation technologies (75%) and nearly half of digital workplace technologies (41%).

“The ongoing push toward remote work and the acceleration of hiring plans in 2021 has exacerbated IT talent scarcity, especially for sourcing skills that enable cloud and edge, automation and continuous delivery,” said Yinuo Geng, research vice president at Gartner.

“As one example, of all the IT automation technologies profiled in the survey, only 20% of them have moved ahead in the adoption cycle since 2020. The issue of talent is to blame here.”

Emerging Technology Investments and Deployments Are Accelerating

Despite talent challenges, infrastructure and operations (I&O) and other IT leaders have increased the adoption of emerging technologies to drive innovation as organizations begin to recover from the pandemic.

Across all technology domains, 58% of respondents reported either an increase or a plan to increase emerging technology investment in 2021, compared with 29% in 2020. Furthermore, I&O functions have witnessed a reduction in deployment timelines, with all technologies in deployment expected to reach adoption within the next six to 18 months.

“This indicates that organizations feel more comfortable directly deploying new technologies to accelerate growth, rather than relying on an extended observation period to develop the business case,” said Geng.

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