A joint survey recently conducted by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network and Dimension Data (News - Alert) explores the readiness of frontline IT professionals to drive IT transformation and innovation in their respective organizations. The study, entitled “Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What’s Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals,” is the third installment of a comprehensive research initiative covering this issue, called “Transform to Better Perform.”
The survey found that IT transformation is still in its infancy, as demonstrated by the fact more than 70 percent of the 200 respondents haven’t even begun preparing to transform, and out of those that have, only 15 percent said their IT transformation strategy is clearly defined. Many organizations recognize that transformation is necessary and are constantly evolving to match their priorities, but this shiftiness makes it harder to bring about innovation, as reported by 82 percent of respondents. The rest of the business often does not collaborate with IT as much as they should, taking much too long to bring IT teams into the planning process and giving them the impression that they are not considered “trustworthy.”
Furthermore, the majority of IT staff’s time is squandered maintaining and troubleshooting legacy systems and therefore even less time can be devoted to technological transformation. Making things worse, 62 percent of respondents complained of their departments being under-resourced in terms of staff and funding. These statistics demonstrate that there is a severe gap between what a business wants to accomplish and what they are realistically able to accomplish without giving the IT department the attention and resources they need.
The survey results found that IT departments are most sorely lacking in the following capabilities: long-term planning, application development, software engineering and data analysis/architecture. Coincidentally, these are the facets most necessary for bringing about IT transformation and, by extension, improved productivity and accountability across the business as well as innovative business apps and customer-facing services.
In order to accomplish this, organizations can make the most of existing resources by opening up communication pathways between the IT department and other business units so everyone’s on the same page, and instilling IT staff with a deeper understanding of the overall business’s needs and what they are trying to provide to customers. However, in most cases it will still be necessary to allot a greater proportion of funds (and possibly staff) so that the IT department can effectively carry out its duties while simultaneously driving innovative growth and transformation.
"Companies are at the start of a major shift to new technology models and a dependency on next-generation infrastructures, applications and services as they embark on the journey to becoming a digital enterprise," said Kevin Leahy, General Manager of Data Center Solutions at Dimension Data. "The expertise and resources to get this done are clearly in short supply. Companies will need to tap into the right partners with the right capabilities and resources to ensure they are not left behind."
Edited by Kyle Piscioniere