What are the worries that are keeping your customers and potential customers up at night?  What are CIOs' biggest pain points today? CIOs and CTOs say the skills shortage is the top impediment to innovation, according to a new survey by Sierra Ventures and Carnegie Mellon University-Silicon Valley. Capitalizing on that shortage can mean opportunity for MSPs. Here's a look at all the impediments CIOs listed and the technologies that they say are at top of mind CIO today.

First, this group of CIOs that Sierra targeted comes from an elite group. Sierra tapped into its CIO Advisory Board, which includes Fortune 500 CIOs and CTOs from across all major industries, to gather the answers.

These executives said that shifting from legacy systems to innovative solutions requires certain skills that in-house IT employees may not have. And such a shortage of skills could ultimately impact revenues. According to the survey, overall, CIOs believe that IT innovation will have the greatest impact on driving sales growth, and without innovation in the enterprise, growth and market position will suffer. The following is the full list of what CIOs reported are the biggest impediments to IT innovation:
  • 32 percent - skills shortage;
  • 29 percent - maintenance of legacy systems;
  • 25 percent - new efforts with limited clear goals;
  • 16 percent - scaling/support of new technology for enterprise.


Sierra Ventures Managing Director Tim Guleri said CIOs and CTOs face a host of new challenges. "We found that today, CIOs and CTOs have to wear multiple hats such as being strategic while keeping up with ever-changing technology advances and maintaining legacy systems," Guleri said. "They have to evaluate risk, be innovative—all while keeping the lights on and the systems up and running."

With the assistance of MSPs, businesses can capitalize on new innovations in technology, staying ahead of competition. CIOs reported that the following are the most important areas to them in IT:
  • 32 percent - big data;
  • 32 percent - mobile devices;
  • 24 percent - cloud computing;
  • 12 percent - social media.
Show how you can make a business profitable in these areas, and you'll pick up their business.