The role of information technology (IT) in setting strategic priorities and achieving business success is growing for companies in Canada and around the world, according to new research released today by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry. More than 80 percent of Canadian businesses surveyed say technology is important or very important to their success; three-quarters plan increases in IT spending this year; and 35 percent have expectations of hiring new IT staff in 2013.
CompTIA’s International Technology Adoption & Workforce Issues study is based on a survey of more than 1,250 business and IT executives in countries around the world, including Canada.
Nearly six in 10 Canadian executives (58 percent) expect business conditions to improve in 2013. They also say they will rely on technology to help them achieve key strategic business priorities, including reducing costs and overhead; reaching new customers; and improving staff productivity and capabilities.
Top technology priorities for Canadian companies in the next 12 months include:
- Web presence, including e-commerce
- Updating aging computers and software
- Data storage and back-up
- Mobility (devices and applications)
“Emerging technologies such as cloud computing continue to see adoption gains as well,” noted Tim Herbert, vice president, research, CompTIA. “More than half of responding companies in Canada (55 percent) say they are either experimenting with or fully using cloud computing solutions.”
Greater reliance on technology may prompt many businesses to increase their IT staff over the next 12 months. Yet IT skills gaps remain a challenge. In Canada, 90 percent of executives indicate at least some degree of gaps in IT skills in their organization.
“In many cases skills gaps are a natural part of the IT industry due to the speed of innovation,” said Terry Erdle, executive vice president, skills certification, CompTIA. “The demand for new technologies can get ahead of the supply of workers who are well trained and credentialed in those areas.”
Workers and companies in Canada are responding to the need for more skills, as 90 percent of businesses engaged in some type of IT training during the past 12 months.