Here are IT executives’ instructions for 2017: Rewire the entire business so it runs on digital, without new budget. And, by the way, good luck with staffing.
That’s the gist of a recent report on the state of IT in 2017, assembled by the crew at SpiceWorks, an online IT professional network.
The survey, based on input from 900 IT executives as well as the site’s social media discussions, puts the average annual IT spend for 2017 at about $294,000 – a paltry $1,000 jump over the 2016 average. IT buyers “still think hardware and software are the hottest properties — although they say they’re likely to spend a bit less on both,” the study’s authors report. Cloud spending will get a boost – 17% of IT budgets will go to cloud services – up from 14% last year. In addition, 38% consider cloud very or extremely important to their current business practices, compared to 29% last year.
The tech trends dominating IT agendas over the coming year are led by mobile computing (41%), security (33%), and automating IT itself (30%).
Skills will also either hinder or propel IT initiatives over the coming year. A related SpiceWorks analysis finds that 37% of IT professionals plan to begin searching for a new employer and 26% plan to accept a new job over the coming year. While 69% of IT professionals plan to switch jobs to advance their IT skills, 64% are looking for a more competitive salary, and 40% “want to work for a company that makes IT more of a priority.”
This has enormous implications for insurers who may find their technology talent increasingly attracted to insurtech or fintech companies or startups. As the study’s authors put it: “When asked what IT tasks will be the most challenging next year, most IT professionals cited the obstacle of getting business leaders to understand the importance of IT priorities and fund critical IT projects.”
In many ways, every insurer is becoming an “insurtech” company in some manner or another, whether through the cultivation or acquisition of tech units or innovation labs, or through a top-to-bottom realignment of mainstream corporate priorities. It will take a polymathic combination of tech-savvy and business-savvy skills to get there. Every organization already has these skills onsite, it’s just they may be latent, and need to be surfaced through cultural shifts and enlightened management.
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