Findings from the latest CompTIA technology adoption study
In April, CompTIA released a workforce trends study on technology adoption. This was exciting for us, because we are huge nerds extremely interested in technology adoption. Given our recent post on the state of the space, we thought it would be interesting to discuss the results from this 73-slide, 12-nation study (don’t worry, we pulled out just three important findings for you).
Finding 1: Technology alone cannot accomplish a company’s strategic goals.
Perhaps somewhat obviously, the study points out that technology’s importance is on the rise. All kinds of organizations increasingly rate IT a critically important factor to their success (68% say technology is important or very important to business success). It also points out, however, that technology is a means and not an end: “Organizations must also address the people and process elements of the equation to achieve optimal results.” Contrary to a hopeful CIO’s belief that the purchase of a new technology will automatically solve all of his or her team’s problems, there is much more that goes into connecting the technology to the people, the processes, and eventually the strategic goals.
Finding 2: There is a large gap in the level of training employers believe their staff should reach and where staff actually stands.
It’s difficult for most companies to keep up with today’s pace of innovation. Major product releases are no longer just once every few years, but annually or even more frequently (Salesforce has three major releases every year). Technology is more accessible than ever, which has led to the need for companies to incessantly attempt to close the knowledge gap. In the US, only 15% of businesses report being exactly where they want to be with technology utilization, and only 41% consider themselves “very close.” Two of the major cloud adoption hurdles are “gaps in staff expertise with cloud solutions” and “insufficient or unclear return on ROI.” Given the explosion in SaaS spending (the global SaaS market is projected to grow from $49B in 2015 to $67B in 2018), these gaps could potentially continue to grow without the proper processes and training methods in place.
Finding 3: Companies train staff in various ways, but few have tangible ways to measuring that training.
Most organizations provide some degree of training for their IT staff. Almost half report using e-learning or online training courses as well as instructor-led classroom courses. The percentages begin to sink when you talk about assessing that training. Approximately 4 in 10 organizations claim to have a formal policy or an established method for validating expertise, while 37% report having an informal policy, which means that managers can hand out IT “certifications” at their own discretion. With the exponential growth in technology availability and usage, measuring each technology’s adoption rates will be crucial to companies’ ROIs.
So, what now?
It’s not news that technology use and development is on the rise. But with that use and development also comes complexity. And with that complexity comes issues with adoption. Organizations need to think not only about having the newest technologies, but about the implementation and adoption processes that will keep their teams up to speed.
The CompTIA study focuses on IT programs and training at large, but we’ve also seen (firsthand) similar trends in SaaS adoption. There are many reasons for poor SaaS adoption. Here are just a few of the common ones we’ve heard directly from employees tasked with learning a new SaaS platform:
- “It takes too long to learn, so it will take me away from my primary job.”
- “This technology only benefits management so they can ‘keep an eye on us.’”
- “There’s bad data clogging the system.”
- “I didn’t even know about it.”
- “The last technology we tried to implement failed, so learning it was a waste of time.”
- “Management doesn’t use it, so why should I?”
We’ve stayed very close to these trends as they have developed and evolved over the past five years. We’ve also seen some pretty interesting solutions begin to pop up. As the CompTIA study indicates, the technology adoption pain is real. Our goal is to be part of the solution. Stay tuned for some exciting updates in 2016.