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Lack of talent a "significant" barrier to emerging technologies

Gartner report suggests IT leaders are concerned that talent shortages could hinder the adoption of future tech

A lack of talent has been cited as the biggest barrier to the adoption of emerging technologies, according to a new Gartner survey. 

According to the analyst outfit's '2021-2023 Emerging Technology Roadmap for Large Enterprises' report, IT executives expect talent shortages to be a "significant" barrier to 64% of emerging technologies. 

The 2021-2023 survey provides a peer-based view of the adoption plans of over 100 emerging technologies from 437 IT global organisations in North America, EMEA and APAC over a 12- to 24-month-time period.

The availability of talent - or the perceived lack of it - was cited as the leading factor inhibiting adoption for six technology domains: compute infrastructure and platform services, network, security, digital workplace, IT automation and storage and database. For the same report in 2020, IT executives only saw a lack of talent as an issue for 4% of emerging technologies.  

This shortage is also cited as the main adoption risk factor for the majority of IT automation technologies (75%) and nearly half of digital workplace technologies (41%), according to Gartner's report. 

"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."

Infrastructure security is a significant priority for organisations, according to the report, with concerns over rising threats, particularly to endpoint devices in hybrid work environments. From 2020 to 2021, the number of security technologies in deployment rose dramatically, and 64% of respondents reported that they have either increased or are planning to increase investments in security technologies, up from just 31% the previous year.

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