Technology may be changing faster than ever, but successful organizations are still reliant on the expertise of employees, partners, and vendors to win the IT race, according to a recent OneAffiniti survey.

The finding is one of several key IT trends identified in OneAffiniti’s 2019 Business IT Trends Annual Report, which explored the differences between successful and unsuccessful businesses concerning the use of IT.

The survey of 625 US and Canadian individuals in decision-making or decision-influencing positions found successful organizations are able to identify the challenges facing their IT and resource accordingly, drawing upon the skills of employees, partners, and vendors.

Internal expertise: #1 IT success factor

Asked the key IT project success factors, “strong internal expertise” rated top at 29 percent, followed by “technical support” from partners (21 percent) and “service support” from vendors (11 percent), along with “internal leadership” (also 11 percent).

These factors correlate with those identified by Erin Palmer as key to project success, namely:

  • Having smart people with a commitment to the group and a shared vision.
  • Smart planning to ensure a project is set up for success from the get-go.
  • Open communication within the team.
  • Careful risk management.
  • Strong project closure confirming project delivery, testing, and release.

IT Issues Given the dominance of technical skills, CIOs, COOs, and boards alike should ensure such skills are available when making hiring decisions and strategic plans for significant IT deployments.

Analyzing the results, the survey showed that successful businesses identify their needs, allocate sufficient budget to meet them, and invest in the relationships needed to meet any challenges.

Partnerships also critical

Partnerships are vital to this process, as highlighted by CompTIA, since the small and midsized businesses (SMBs) most satisfied with their IT also have close relationships with their technology partners, while larger companies seek help from partners in filling skills gaps.

Reflecting on the biggest challenges faced by successful projects, survey respondents gave a range of responses, from “insufficient budget” (19 percent) to “insufficient internal expertise” (17 percent) and “poor internal training and communications” (9 percent).

Tellingly, successful businesses better understood the challenges they faced than their unsuccessful competitors.

Recruiting is the key

According to CompTIA’s latest research, nearly four in 10 U.S. tech firms have job openings and are actively recruiting candidates for technical positions, with hiring intent most concentrated among large and medium-sized firms.

Finding workers with the right skills and experience, particularly in emerging areas such as machine learning, IoT integration, or robotics process automation (RPA) is critical, along with the necessary “soft skills.”

This is particularly the case amid intense competition for tech talent, rising salary expectations, and the limited pool of available workers.

And with the global IT industry expected to reach $5 trillion in 2019 – including $1.6 trillion in the United States – according to IDC, businesses that secure the right expertise will have a wealth of opportunities for growth.

To recap: Successful IT businesses are those with access to skilled employees, partners, and vendor support, amid growing demand for tech in 2019. Does that sound like your business? If not, then you know what to do.