What Prevents Companies From Implementing New Technology?
Back Published 2010-06-07
Menlo Park, Calif. — June 7
Do your company’s computers still use floppy disk drives or take 20 minutes to boot up? A recent survey shows you might not be alone. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of chief information officers interviewed said understaffing in their company’s IT department interferes at least somewhat with their ability to implement innovative or emerging technologies.
The survey was developed by Robert Half Technology, a provider of information technology professionals on a project and full-time basis. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on telephone interviews with more than 1,400 CIOs from companies across the United States with 100 or more employees.
CIOs were asked, “To what extent, if any, does understaffing in your IT department affect your company’s ability to implement innovative or new technologies?” While 16 percent responded “significantly,” 48 percent said “somewhat” and 34 percent chose the “not at all” option.
“Implementing new technologies companywide often requires substantial staff and unique skill sets that many IT departments don't have immediately available,” said Dave Willmer, executive director of Robert Half Technology. “As appealing and beneficial as these technologies are, companies often push them to the back burner because their IT departments are already understaffed.
“Companies should carefully weigh the pros and cons of delaying a technology implementation or upgrade, especially if the project will increase productivity or create new business opportunities.”
Robert Half Technology offers the following tips for companies facing an IT staffing shortage:
• Ask for updates. If you aren’t already doing so, ask IT employees to provide workload updates. This will help to ensure their to-do lists are manageable and determine if current tasks can be redistributed, potentially freeing up time for new technologies.
• Get employees involved. Seek input on ways to better manage workloads and ask staff members to brainstorm creative ways to solve everyday challenges. Having a say in the outcome of a project motivates personnel to do their best work.
• Take stock of current skills. Do the employees in your department have the necessary skills to implement an emerging technology you’re considering? If not, what skills are needed, and would it be worthwhile to train staff on a new platform?
• Consider reinforcements. Project professionals are a cost-effective resource to assist companies with heavy workloads and special initiatives and to keep projects on track, particularly when full-time workers are doing more with fewer resources.