Italy and the new era of Digital Transformation

By 2022, 60% of business flows will open up to digital transformation and cloud: are we ready?

Next October 24th in Rome, Assintel will present the 2019/2020 ICT Report, with relevant guests such as, among the others, the Minister of Innovation Paola Pisano and Lucilla Sioli, Director for Artificial Intelligence and Digital Industry of Connect General Department for the European Commission. Some data insights: by 2020, 60% of enterprise workloads will shift to cloud computing, and 75% of IT management will be governed by Artificial Intelligence. All in response to the growing digital transformation, pushing towards dynamics of flexibility, speed and continuity in service.

For this new age of the cloud, experts already talk about the fifth era of computer modernization, having witnessed innovation such as mainframes and programming, architecture and virtualization. A new opportunity is opening up for companies, which are increasingly turning, through the use of machine learning tools, to a technological democratization, increasing efficiency and, thanks to the automation, allowing to manage complex environments such as those of the current market scenario.

New, more agile, scalable and access-to-access operational models of previously unimaginable solutions quickly enter in everyday work processes, ushering in an investment trend that will soon increase tenfold. Yet, our Country still struggles to keep up with the transformation, often due to deep-rooted pockets of resistance to change holding back the innovative pressures carried out, instead, by part of the organizations that are (and have been) able to understand the potential of this change, and ride it.

The 2019 CIO Survey describes a process, that of digitization, which began at least three years ago, and that is entering in an increasingly tangible way within the strategic business plans, assigning the profile of the CIO (Chief Information Officer) a more and more decisive role, as a mediator between business and technology. 66,7% of the sample reports heavy investments in advanced analytics, with the introduction of machine learning algorithms, and the creation of data lakes, useful to enhance business data. IT Infrastructure & Cloud, enabling digital transformation strategies and using architectures, collects 54,2% of preferences; Cybersecurity and GDPR comes in at 48,6%. Main divisions involved in the new demand for innovation inside the company, according to the survey, are marketing and sales, confirming a new focus on customer journey and interactive customer experience; there is also an HR footprint, with evolutions on smart working and talent management side.

So, what is holding back digital Italy? Almost half of the sample identified issues related to change management, acceptance of innovation and construction of a new and more adaptive mindset in the company, which can really drive and make its own the evolution taking place with its benefits. Another focal point is skills: a "skill shortage", both on technological and business side, with the podium of the most wanted profiles occupied by data management, infrastructure and security experts. 2019 LinkedIn Recruiter Sentiment says that between 2018 and 2019, hiring process increased. However, net of the mismatch found by more than half of the respondents between number of candidates and actual vacancies, the sample agrees on the absence of adequate assessment tools, and on the lack of candidates skilling.

A gap that focuses 40% precisely on digital skills, and that identifies among the main areas of improvement for candidates technology and coding, with consequent impacts on problem solving, time management and collaboration. In a 5G Country, without adequate innovation training, digital in particular, we are risking to face the lack of 4.0preparation. Can we really afford to overrule the change that is taking place?