Doubts Raised Over IT's Strategic Potential

 
 
By Dennis McCafferty  |  Posted 03-02-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Consensus Statement
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    Consensus Statement

    65% of surveyed non-IT execs said the improvement of the effectiveness of business processes is a top priority for IT, and 62% of IT execs agree.
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    Intellectual Asset
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    Intellectual Asset

    54% of non-IT execs surveyed said that providing information to support better planning and decision-making on the part of managers should be a top priority for the tech department, but just 36% of tech execs agree.
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    Strategic Stall
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    Strategic Stall

    Only 24% of IT executives said their departments are "very" or "completely" effective at driving tech enablement or innovation in business processes and operations.
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    Misfire
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    Misfire

    Just 21% said IT is "very" or "completely" effective at targeting places in the organization where IT can add the most value.
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    Delayed Debut
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    Delayed Debut

    Only 18% said IT is "very" or "completely" effective at introducing new technologies faster or better than competitors.
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    Budget Forecast, Part I: Operational View
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    Budget Forecast, Part I: Operational View

    45% of non-IT execs anticipate an increase in their organization's IT operating expense budget in 2015, but only 28% of tech execs expect an increase.
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    Budget Forecast, Part II: Shopping List
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    Budget Forecast, Part II: Shopping List

    66% of non-IT execs said investments in new tech should increase this year, compared to just 52% of tech execs who predict the same.
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    Skills Gap
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    Skills Gap

    44% of both IT and non-IT execs said that increasing the overall talent level and capabilities of the tech staff is a high priority in improving IT performance, up from 35% in 2013.
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    Data Crunch
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    Data Crunch

    51% of both IT and non-IT execs said the most pressing IT talent needs for the next 12 months will include analytics and data science, up from 40% in 2013.
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    Winning Combination
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    Winning Combination

    31% of those surveyed said the most pressing IT talent needs will include joint business and IT expertise, which is slightly down from 34% in 2013.
 

While the majority of executives–both IT and non-IT–agree that the tech department must play a lead role in the improvement of business effectiveness, they're expressing considerable doubts about the department's ability to do so, according to a recent survey from McKinsey. And many of the doubts are being raised by tech-side leaders, findings revealed. A clear minority of IT execs, for example, said their department is highly effective at driving tech innovation in business processes and operations. An even smaller percentage feels that the tech department is effective at targeting places in which IT can add the most organizational value. "Companies would do well to empower and require their CIOs and other technology leaders to play a more meaningful role in shaping business strategy," according to an accompanying article to the survey, titled "Why CIOs Should be Business-Strategy Partners." This means shifting away from a CIO with a supplier mind-set who provides a cost-effective utility and toward IT leadership that is integrated into discussions of overall business strategy and contributes positively to innovating and building the business. As for how to do this? McKinsey recommends modifying reporting lines so the CIO reports, for example, to the CEO; establishing clear partnerships between the IT and corporate-strategy functions; and holding both business and IT leaders accountable for big business bets. More than 670 IT and non-IT executives took part in the research.

 
 
 
 
 
Dennis McCafferty is a freelance writer for Baseline Magazine.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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