A new study suggests that many companies are not prepared for the inevitable impact of digital disruption.
The survey, commissioned by Juniper Networks and Wakefield Research, asked over 2,700 IT and business decision-makers globally about the ongoing disconnect between IT professionals and the C-Suite.
More than half of the respondents (55% of ITDMs and 51% of BDMs) expect a new disruptive technology, product or service to be introduced to their industry within the next two years. However, IT departments aren’t feeling prepared for the changes ahead. Almost half (45%) of ITDMs surveyed believe a quarter or more of their IT workforce will not have the skills they need to succeed five years from now.
To address the skills gap currently hindering organizations from fully capitalizing on opportunities stemming from the expected digital disruption, Juniper Networks today announced an expansion of the company’s OpenLab program to seven locations worldwide. OpenLab provides customers, partners, academics and other industry leaders with hands-on access to network automation workshops, educational programs and dedicated lab resources.
In addition, Juniper is working with innovative educational provider, General Assembly, to develop a curriculum to help the business and technology community gain highly sought-after and practical skills in order to remain relevant in today’s rapidly changing technology employment landscape.
“For over 20 years, Juniper has partnered with customers to embrace business growth by investing in network innovation,” said Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “True innovation requires an understanding of the value that technology delivers. Now more than ever, savvy technology investments are vital to maintaining a business advantage. The C-Suite doesn’t need to code, but leading a company strategy for growth requires a strong relationship between those who set the strategy and those who execute.”
School your C-Suite and brace for rapid change
Nearly nine in 10 respondents (84% of ITDMs and 84% of BDMs) admit their organization would perform better if their current C-Suite were more tech-savvy.
A lack of investment in IT creates a barrier to innovation, preventing business from keeping up with the pace of change and staying competitive. Nearly half of the respondents (46% of ITDMs and 50% of BDMs) expect it would take one or more years for their company to develop and support an improved product or service if challenged by a competitor. That’s time they may not have given the speed at which disruption can hit.
What’s worse, legacy infrastructure is slowing business growth. More than half of respondents indicated their company’s IT infrastructure would be very or somewhat likely to create an obstacle in accelerating a new product or service.
To remain relevant today, organizations need to address impending industry disruption by rethinking their IT approach to ensure they are investing in ongoing innovation. Market advantage is more likely to last when leadership stays at the forefront of technology innovation.
Invest in automation
To stay ahead of the disruption curve, organizations should prioritize network automation investments. Study results show that both ITDMs and BDMs see IT and network automation as essential for their company’s future competitiveness.
Nearly three in four respondents (70% of ITDMs and 72% of BDMs) say they’re excited by the opportunities network and IT automation create for their company. Of the ITDMs already using software-defined networking (SDN) or network functions virtualization (NFV), nearly all (93%) say it’s given them a significant edge over their competitors.
ITDMs at companies that have adopted SDN report greater benefits and capabilities than they originally expected; respondents were most likely to report cloud interconnect, virtual data center and security automation as the business benefits of SDN adoption. ITDMs at companies that have adopted NFV reported greater benefits and capabilities than they originally expected; respondents were most likely to report that NFV adoption enables virtual security, virtual routing and WAN optimization.
The study, commissioned by Juniper Networks, was conducted by Wakefield Research via an online survey of 2,704 respondents in the U.S., China, Australia, Japan, India, U.K., Germany and France.