Three IT challenges from the 2020 Technology Trends report.

The 2020 Technology Trends report explores the latest challenges and insights within IT. The function of IT teams has evolved to meet new opportunities such as AI and the challenges around CX. To adapt, IT executives are now taking a more strategic role within the business – but this will only succeed with the right tools and support.

Three IT challenges from the 2020 Technology Trends report.

The 2020 Technology Trends report explores the latest challenges and insights within IT. The function of IT teams has evolved to meet new opportunities such as AI and the challenges around CX. To adapt, IT executives are now taking a more strategic role within the business – but this will only succeed with the right tools and support.

IT teams are stepping up.

In partnership with Econsultancy, Adobe has published the 2020 Technology Trends. Our report reveals how IT teams are taking on a hybrid role that balances technology, data regulation and commercial strategy. Discover insights into the impact of customer expectations, GDPR and data regulation and the skills gap that is holding many businesses back.

1. Customer Experience

How IT has become a strategic role.

As more businesses embrace digital, IT teams are beginning to take an active role in shaping customer service. For tech companies like Uber or Amazon, technology arguably delivers a larger part of the customer experience than employees. Lester Thomas, Chief Systems Architect for Vodafone, summed it up when he said that IT professionals have gone from being ‘order-takers’ to ‘recipe makers’. This observation is consistent with what IT executives told us in the latest 2020 Technology Trends survey results. 87% of respondents said that their tech team are now responsible for making key decisions about CX selection and implementation. 89% said that this had led to their department working more closely with other parts of the business. However, legacy systems remain a huge challenge for IT teams. Replacing these outdated and inherited systems was a top priority for 44% of IT executives, ranking as more important than core duties such as ‘protecting the business and customer data’. To succeed in their new strategic role, IT teams need support from other departments and recognition that they play a prominent role in developing the business.

2. Strategy and Technology

Strategy and tech are coming together.

The 2020 Technology Trends survey results clearly show that customer data management is essential for improving customer experience. However, other departments outside of IT often misunderstand the importance of IT as a strategic tool within a business. For instance, 38% of IT executives said that customer data management was their top priority for 2020. Yet non-IT respondents were 42% less likely to share this opinion, which suggests the need for more awareness and education about the value of IT. Businesses need to challenge the presumption that IT is only responsible for maintenance and security. For instance, as well as reducing the risk of security breaches and tech failures, IT teams are now sharing the responsibility of reaching commercial targets. GDPR and data control have also added to this complexity. 26% of IT executives said that complying with data protection laws was one of their top three challenges. Although, almost half of respondents also said that GDPR has had a positive impact on the quality of their newsletter subscriber lists. These responses suggest that a growing number of IT teams are making technical, commercial and regulatory decisions. As the gap between strategy and technology narrows, leaders need to provide the tools for IT to succeed.

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3. Recruitment in IT

More IT talent is needed to differentiate.

Advances in AI and other technologies are creating exciting new opportunities for businesses. However, many organisations are struggling to upskill or recruit IT experts with the right kind of knowledge. More than 50% of IT executives said that they are either using (or plan to use) AI in 2020. Of those who are not using AI, 27% said there was a lack of knowledge and 23% put it down to a lack of resources. The European Commission has even warned that regional demand for IT staff is growing at a faster rate than supply. This has led to a skills gap in areas such as cybersecurity, leaving many businesses unable to keep up with basic security tasks. Human resource issues are front of mind for IT leaders. 20% said that attracting and retaining talent in digital, data and customer experience roles was their top concern for 2020 (ahead of data privacy challenges and recession fears). The fast pace of change within IT is leading to a massive shortage of skilled workers. To meet the future and take advantage of AI, businesses need to take a flexible approach to skills development and keep in touch to previously untapped talent pools.

The main talking points.

Hand Clicking

Customer Experience
IT is taking on a more strategic role. In 2020, 89% of IT executives said that their team now works more closely with other parts of the business.

Connected dots

Data management
44% of IT professionals said that modernising or replacing legacy platforms is the top priority for 2020.

Automation

Skills Gap
20% of IT executives said that attracting and retaining talent was their top concern for 2020, compared with only 12% of their peers.

  

Find out where trends are heading. Download the report.