Accelerating Business Transformation Through IT Innovation

Agility, speed, and innovation are the common trifecta for IT leaders these days. A new lengthy report from BPI Network surveys 250 business executives across disciplines globally about their attitudes toward technology, who is driving change in their organizations, and where IT’s top priorities lie. Only 14 percent of organizations rate IT’s level of innovation as “very high.”

Lots of Data about Data

Sixty-five percent of business leaders find that technology has become “far more important” in the last five years, and 47 percent say they are investing more time into understanding how new technologies can augment strategy. In order, the three most pressing concerns of IT at this time are operational efficiency and effectiveness (at 52 percent), customer experience and retention (at 33 percent), and organizational alignment (at 27 percent). At the moment though, business leaders are unhappy with the rate at which IT is innovating, with the report providing the following stats:

  • Only 14% rate the level of innovation in IT organizations as “very high” vs. 15% that chose “poor.” Most gave middle ratings: “making progress” (37%) or “good” (33%).
  • How well is the IT organization executing on it’s [sic] mandate to transform and become a more strategic, responsive and a valued business partner? Only 14% said “very well” while 10% said “poor.” Most were in the middle: 28% said “good” and 44% said “making progress.”
  • What business metrics would you use to evaluate IT performance and effectiveness (top 3): Reliability, scalability and security of IT infrastructure (46%); Ideas and solutions for furthering business performance (38%); Quality and timeliness or app delivery (36%).

However, as is noted in the findings, one problem with innovation expectations is that incremental innovation is rarely acknowledged; people only look for the dramatic improvements. Nonetheless, there tends to be agreement that IT could be searching harder for innovation. Top barriers that stagnate adopting new technologies include gaining consensus and support, determining the optimal solution, minimizing security risks, successfully implementing the new technology across the organization, and successfully modernizing legacy IT infrastructure. A whole 92 percent of respondents believe they are headed in the right direction as far as embracing new technology and new digital channels, but 50 out of that 92 percent are merely “making progress” versus having it go very or exceptionally well.

CEOs, CMOs, and CTOs top the list of people likely to collaborate with the CIO to align IT with the business. The prevalent attitude continues to be that shifting to the cloud is good for strategy, with the biggest advantage being cited as increased agility and responsiveness to business changes. Real-time intelligence via the Internet of Things and highly scalable web-based business models rate at the top of transformative technologies likely to add to the competitive advantage.

Lastly, regarding the data center, 48 percent intend to modernize and upgrade it, 44 percent intend to shift to a hybrid cloud IT model, and 32 percent intend to consolidate servers. The report goes on to have some Q&A directly with the executives polled, citing specific attitudes and opinions about what work remains to be done.

You can read the full report here (reg. req.):

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