The execution dilemma for $4.4T in digital transformation spend

The execution dilemma for $4.4T in digital transformation spend

Between disrupted supply chains, a distributed workforce, and an increasingly digital customer, digital transformation initiatives have been put on overdrive since the pandemic's start. Take a look at the number of digital transformation initiatives being put into motion this year. 

Companies are making record-breaking investments in digital transformation, up 65% from 2020, as 72% of executives say they must radically transform their operations to compete effectively in their industry. Gartner data sheds light on the sheer magnitude of worldwide IT spending, which is projected to hit $4.4 trillion in 2022.

Investments in digital transformation are up 65%
Source: Gartner

We need to look no further than the second-largest cloud services provider Microsoft for trends in this space, which not only highlights the increase in spend but also the expedited timeframes of pulling these initiatives off. 

At the onset of the pandemic, CEO Satya Nadella shared how the company observed two years’ worth of digital transformation within two months. Two years later, he shared how the scale of transformation has exploded — the number of Azure deals worth $100+ million in Q1 2022 more than doubled.

So Why Are Businesses Scaling Investments in Digital Transformation Initiatives?

Gartner Vice President John-David Lovelock's statement provides great insights into why companies are hyper-focused on digital transformation today. According to him, “...CIOs are accelerating IT investments as they recognize the importance of flexibility and agility in responding to disruption. As a result, purchasing and investing preference will be focused on areas including analytics, cloud, computing, seamless customer experiences, and security.”

And the benefits of taking on a digital transformation initiative are well worth the effort. Digital performance leaders see 2x higher returns on their digital transformation initiatives when compared to their peers.

Digital performance leaders see 2x higher returns on their digital transformation initiatives when compared to their peers.
Source: Gartner

The Ubiquitous Execution Challenge

As companies continue to see the strategic value of undertaking such initiatives to ensure business health, one question comes to the forefront. Given the reported difficulty of finding and retaining top technology and IT talent in today's tight labor market, how will companies execute on these initiatives?

This sentiment is at the top of every business leader's priority list. Recent research from PwC confirms this real need, with 77% of business leaders stating that hiring and retaining talent is their most critical growth lever in 2022.

77% of business leaders state that hiring and retaining talent is their most critical growth lever in 2022
Source: PwC

Yet the tech industry is one of the main sectors facing acute talent shortages. The number of technology jobs doubled in 2021, whereas the average number of applications shrunk by 25%.

The number of technology jobs doubled in 2021. In contrast, the number of applications decreased by 25%.
Source: Datapeople

Digging deeper into this talent crisis, it becomes clear that most of today’s technology and IT talent have joined the Great Resignation for a couple of reasons, such as lack of career mobility, flexibility in working hours, and mental health/wellbeing.

The Solution – The Rapidly Growing Remote Independent Workforce

It’s no wonder why the number of technology and IT subject matter experts joining talent networks has increased over the years. We have seen this growth on our own platform, with independent IT and technology knowledge workers joining Graphite increasing by 57% YoY.

The number of independent technology and IT knowledge workers joining Graphite increased by 57% YoY.
Source: Graphite Research

This increase in technology and IT talent joining the platform is mirrored by the spend by companies onboarding this talent on the platform, which also increased by 662% YoY in 2021.   

Spend for independent technology and IT workers increased by 662% YoY in 2021.
Source: Graphite Research

And when looking at it from a quarter over quarter growth, spend for this in-demand skill in Q1 2022 increased 82% YoY. This all points to the growing trend that business leaders are increasingly relying on the independent workforce to execute mission-critical initiatives like digital transformations, cloud architecture, cybersecurity, and more. 

Consider this customer story, for example. A boutique consulting firm was hired by a leading events logistics company to oversee its supply chain transformation as part of a larger, enterprise-wide initiative. Given the complexity of the initiative and expedited timeline, the firm realized they would need to bring a subject matter expert in.

 Instead of onboarding a full-time employee for this mission-critical project, which could have taken months to find in today’s labor market, the consulting firm leveraged Graphite to find the right fit for the role. Within 13.5 days, the consulting firm onboarded a certified PMP executive with a proven track record of helping companies like Dell Technologies, PwC, and Accenture with similar initiatives. 

 Stories like these provide a micro look at today’s current labor dynamics. More importantly, it demonstrates how companies are better equipped to move quickly and capture future value today with a more agile workforce. 

On-demand hiring platforms like Graphite are increasingly helping companies address acute talent shortages in sectors like Technology and IT. Have a gap you need to fill? Connect with an account executive to learn more.

Recent Articles