Anna Frazzetto's Blog

Digital Innovations and Technology Solutions

Finding order out of chaos

The Harvey Nash Group recently published the 2014 Technology Survey with opinion from over two thousand technology professionals, from CTOs to Web Developers and Software Engineers, providing insight to a wide range of industry sector.

While the report is published in the U.K., contributors come from every corner of the global technology sector, including the U.S. and Australia, the two regions where I spend much of my time with technologists.

I wanted to pick out some of the highlights in a report that illuminates the major challenge technology professionals everywhere will face in 2014: how to create order out of a chaotic array of internal priorities, external pressures, technology innovations as well as the everyday array of bugs and fixes.

Highlights from the survey results include:

Priorities for technology professionals

  • The top priority for 65% of technology professionals for the coming year will be security challenges, this is likely a consequence of the 75% of respondents that now use some form of open source software to deliver technology solutions
  • This can also be attributed to the next three most important priorities that technology professional will dedicate their time and budgets to; Mobile (62%), Digital Marketing (63%) and Cloud applications (61%)

The technology skills shortage is getting worse, not better

  • 55% of respondents are reporting a shortage of skilled technology talent, that's an increase of 19% on last year
  • Web development is the most-sought technical skill, while business analysis and management skills remain in demand from last year
  • Understanding digital marketing and data analysis also feature, reflecting the collaboration between technology and marketing teams

Technology career planning

  • Forty four per cent of respondents said they planned to move job within the next twelve months
  • Thirty eight per cent had moved jobs in the past twelve months
  • Unfortunately for employers, 79 per cent of respondents believe they can only advance their career outside their currently employer

Technology innovation remains a core theme in the 2014 Technology Survey. The reputation of Google as the world's preeminent technology influencer is widely recognised by respondents. However, technologists expect Samsung to lead the chasing pack and anticipate it will be more influential than Apple and Microsoft by 2018.

Finally, as someone who has led her fair share of technology projects, I was most interested to read that despite almost two-thirds of respondents (59 per cent) placing Big Data at the centre of their future technology innovation plans, only one in five respondents (20 per cent) have had any discernable success with this critical priority. A further 16 per cent of respondents have launched Big Data projects which have not yet shown success. It is very apparent that technology experimentation continues, often without a solid project management structure or clearly defined objectives, which only increases the risk of expensive technology failure.

From Sydney to Seattle, Canberra to Chicago, London to New York, technology professionals are dealing with an unprecedented array of demands. It can often seem chaotic out there. However, the successful client projects I see across many diverse regions tend to share a central discipline, a measured approach to technology experimentation and organizational-adoption. Technology professionals who can balance the pressure to unleash innovation as a strategic differentiator whilst ensuring innovation can directly enhance local operations are uniquely suited to this turbulent new environment.