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Survey: IT Skills Shortage Forces 31% of Organizations to Prioritize Investment in IT Staff Education, up From 19% Pre-Pandemic

Netwrix report revealed that the majority of organizations remain concerned about security-related matters but have to do more with less in these tough economic times

Netwrix, a cybersecurity vendor that makes data security easy, announced the release of the 2020 Netwrix IT Trends Report: Reshaped Reality, which summarizes feedback from 937 IT Skills professionals worldwide about the projects they are planning for the rest of the year. Netwrix conducted this online survey in June 2020 to understand how the pandemic and ensuing work-from-home initiatives has forced organizations to change their IT priorities since a similar survey at the end of 2019. In both studies, Netwrix and asked respondents to name their top five IT projects for the coming months.

At the end of 2019, data security was the #1 priority and it remains there now, with a whopping 76% of organizations naming it as one of their IT Skills projects for the rest of 2020. Network security tied for the top slot, owing to the rapidly growing remote workforce. The education of IT staff has increased from 19% to 31%, which suggests that organizations are struggling to address these key concerns amid the global IT skills shortage. Cloud migration and IT innovative projects quickly became less important for most organizations during these uncertain times.

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Other findings discovered by the survey include:

  • 36% of respondents plan to prioritize investment in automation of IT tasks; organizations with 1,001–5,000 employees are the most focused on automation (47% named it one of their top priorities). Overall, however, interest in automation dropped by 17 percentage points.
  • Interest in cybersecurity awareness remains high, with just over 50% of respondents listing it as a priority in both surveys.
  • 38% of CIOs and IT Skills directors now plan to invest in the education of IT personnel. Pre-pandemic, only 20% had it on their top five list.
  • Only 24% of organizations in the U.S. plan to focus on cloud migration projects. This number is down from 40% pre-pandemic.
  • 28% of respondents will prioritize digital transformation. However, interest varies a great deal by sector — for instance, the percentage of public institutions naming this project has more than doubled, from 26% pre-pandemic to 56% today.
  • The previous survey found that only a few organizations were going to focus on AI projects. Even fewer are interested now (12%).

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“We are all living in a new economic reality following the virus outbreak and work-from-home initiatives. Organizations are smart to focus on what matters most — protecting their most important data assets. Using products that help automate the process of identifying and securing these assets will result in a more secure, more resilient organization coming out of this crisis,” said Steve Dickson, CEO of Netwrix.

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