Technology is becoming more important in terms of brand promotion and customer experience, but despite their efforts, many businesses lack the proper training and skills needed to succeed in the industry.

This overarching conclusion stems from a new study, the "2012 IBM Tech Trends Report" collected by the IBM Centre for Applied Insights and IBM developerWorks. Data was compiled from responses from 1200 IT managers, IT practitioners and business professionals, along with 700 teachers and students to get a view on current and projected future trends in the technology sector. With this data, IBM has determined that there is a great need to improve how businesses approach this industry.

In the study, four key areas were looked at: mobile technology, cloud computing, social business and business analytics, but despite any individual problems businesses may have with these areas, there are two central concerns: security and an IT shortage.

The Security Concern

In each of the aforementioned fields, there are different security problems. Mobile businesses have to be aware of data loss and security breaches, as well as device management problems, while with cloud computing orgs have to always be up to date on how data is spread over their collaborative platforms. Analytics-based companies face problems surrounding data privacy and user control, while within social business, companies need to always be aware of how polices and guidelines, like employee confidentiality guidelines can affect their company.

Despite individual challenges, the report says keeping information safe is a recurring problem throughout all areas.

In terms of security, it’s not the computers. It’s not the network,” said one educator who was polled as part of the survey. "It’s the information. It’s the ‘I’ part of IT. That’s where the value is, and that’s where the danger is.”

The IT Skills Gap

The second problem that companies run into is an IT shortage, while the report says that this issue is less of a problem for larger companies, it’s still an issue. Only one in ten organizations have across all four areas the skills they need, half reported having “major gaps” in their IT workforce, while 60 percent said that they have “moderate to major shortfalls.”

Although this may seem like an issue that can be easily fixed through education, those surveyed as part of the report say that it will continue to get worse.

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