February 28, 2013 – A more mobile and socially connected workforce has readjusted IT department needs, according to a new assessment by risk and business consultancy Protiviti.

In its “2013 IT Priorities Survey,” Protiviti weighed responses from IT department leaders and CIOs on their internal competencies and department plans.

In terms of raw technical knowledge of IT departments surveyed, the biggest areas in need of improvement were ruled by social media integration and security, and mobile commerce integration, policies and security. In a five-point scale with “5” ranking as supremely capable, mobile and social functions hovered around the 2.8 range, some of the lowest marks in the entire survey. This at a time when Protiviti reported social and mobile needs have IT leaders “scrambling to deliver information, products and services via a growing number of platforms and devices.” Along these same lines, Protiviti found that monitoring and accounting for IT assets is a spiking area of departmental need, as BYOD and the rising reliance on external IT partners – cloud and SaaS, namely – change some of the obligations of IT leaders. Even with that “need for improvement,” Protiviti noted that the recognition by IT leaders of a dearth of capabilities in social and mobile connections reflects a proactive approach to “put in place more control and regimen around ... new technologies.”

Cloud computing ranked ninth on Protiviti’s 2013 list of improvement needs, which also featured numerous compliance and standardization benchmarks from NIST, ISO and the European Union.  In a similar survey two years ago, virtualization registered as the top “in need” area and cloud was third, though the consultancy found that the reduction in concern was marked by a greater ease among IT leaders in the capabilities of service providers and their own internal employees.

In separate questions measuring the desire to improve capabilities, “platform performance planning” ranked as the top area in need of improvement. In a rank of internal competencies across nine areas of processing capabilities for infrastructure, platform performance planning was ranked lowest in terms of in-house capabilities, in a three-way tie along with storage management planning and network performance planning. The fact that all three capabilities surround infrastructure planning suggests “IT functions are striving to become more agile,” according to Protiviti.

To access the full survey, click here.