IT Skills are holding Channel Island firms back from digital transformation

Skills are the biggest barrier to digital transformation in the Channel Islands according to top IT executives.

The Logicalis Global CIO Survey 2017-2018 questioned nearly 1,000 Chief Information Officers and IT directors around the world about issues surrounding digital transformation.

62% of CIOs in the Channel Islands cited skills as a main barrier to digital transformation in their organisation, nearly double the global average of 34% and the UK average of 29%.  Organisational culture, cost, and complex legacy infrastructures were also key issues, however just 23% of Channel Island CIOs cited security as a main barrier, compared to a global average of 34%.

When it comes to using cloud based services, security is a much bigger concern. 65% of Channel Island CIOs cite security as a challenge to increased use of cloud services, less than the global average of 70%, and the European average (UK, Ireland, Germany and Spain) of 80%.

Tom Bale, Business Development and Technical Director, Logicalis, said: “Digital technology is changing everything and IT and security are becoming an increasingly important part of what every organisation does. The challenges facing IT executives are growing and as the survey shows, every area has slightly different concerns.

“Skills are clearly a huge issue for Channel Island businesses. Outsourcing IT services, leveraging the skills of global groups such as Logicalis, which train home-grown talent to international standards, is one way of mitigating the problem. 38% of Channel Island IT executives we surveyed plan to provide additional training and development to help digital transformation, however with just 19% planning to increase their budgets, compared to a global average of 33%, this is likely to remain a big issue.”

The Logicalis survey also found Channel Island CIOs have slightly different worries to global counterparts regarding IT security threats, with 88% thinking ransomware and corporate extortion pose a significant risk to businesses over the next 12 months - higher than the European average of 80% and the global average of 72%.

Identity and credential hacking is also a prime security concern for Channel Island CIOs, with 73% believing they will pose a significant threat to business over the next 12 months, compared to a global average of 43% and a European average of 50%.

IT executives in the Channel Islands may also have a greater awareness of other security issues. 50% of Channel Island CIOs identified ghostware concealed attacks that evade forensics as a concern, compared to just 27% of CIOs globally and 41% of CIOs in Europe.

Despite this, security concerns or considerations have only prevented or stopped 19% of new IT projects going ahead compared to a European average of 29%, a global average of 33% and in the UK where they put the brakes on 36% of projects.

Ricky Magalhaes, Head of Offshore Security (MSS), Logicalis, said: “Every organisation, in every market is under relentless, systematic attack from an increasingly sophisticated community of professional hackers. The only effective approach to security is holistic and architectural – one that is manageable, adaptable, resilient and responsive.

“We are working relentlessly with organisations to improve security standards, maintaining systems to keep cyber attackers out, and monitoring them to keep data in.”

Into its fifth year, the Logicalis Global CIO Survey offers an insight into information security trends as viewed by senior IT executives.

Mark Rogers, CEO of Logicalis Group, said: “Change is now the norm. Just as we set a course based on our understanding of the technology landscape, that landscape changes. CIOs must accept that change is constant and work out how to get on the front foot – to shape change rather than being governed by it."