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Red Hat survey deems security top priority for digital transformation

Results from Red Hat's ninth Global Tech Outlook survey reveal the thoughts of 1,700+ IT leaders worldwide, across various industries to give an understanding of new aspects of technology use and track trends. Red Hat highlights the key findings and trends from the report and how these results have changed over time.

Security remains top priority

Security remains the top IT funding priority across all regions and almost all industries, with 44 per cent of respondents calling it a top three funding priority, eight points higher than the second highest priority, cloud infrastructure. Specifically, network security (40%) and cloud security (38%) were the top priorities, while third-party or supply chain risk management (12%) and security or compliance staffing (13%) ranked as the lowest security funding priorities.

Security was also at the top of the list across many other categories. Cloud security was the top cloud infrastructure priority (42%). Data security and integrity was the top analytics funding priority (45%), edging out artificial intelligence (AI) / machine learning (ML). Security automation (35%) beat out cloud services automation (33%) and network automation (30%) as the top automation priority. Lastly, three out of four respondents ‘somewhat increased’ or ‘significantly increased’ their investments in securing access by applications to other applications, data sources, or both, this year.

Digital transformation priorities shift

In years past, innovation has been the transformation imperative, and rightly so. This year, however, innovation isn’t the most significant priority for transformation work. Security took the new top position with a 3-point increase from last year to 20 per cent. Innovation dropped 5 points, with 19 per cent now identifying it as their top priority for digital transformation.

Separately, however, the survey data shows an increase in companies in the accelerating phase of their digital transformation efforts (now 23%), showing no slowdown in companies’ innovation plans.

Talent gaps remains the top digital transformation barrier

Mirroring last year, the most common digital transformation challenge that companies are grappling with is talent and skill gaps. With an increasing focus on IT automation, security, and AI/ML, IT leaders are rightfully concerned that progress in these important initiatives could be stalled without the proper skills and talent. Organisational culture, people, and processes are just as essential to digital transformation success as technology.

Among non-IT funding priorities outside of IT, 37% of respondents chose both digital transformation strategy and technical / technology skills training. People/process skills training came in third (30%), with IT or developer hiring and retention just behind (28%). All this year’s top non-IT funding priorities involve upskilling and people, perhaps speaking to evolving market conditions and a tight labour market and pushing companies to get more creative about how they not only define their strategy and priorities but also how they recruit, retain and reskill.

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