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CCI
Monday, 07 December 2015 09:07

Why IT transformation just isn’t happening fast enough

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Seven in 10 say their companies are “just getting started” or have not even begun down the road to digital transformation.

The latest survey by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network shows businesses aren't adopting digital transformation initiatives quickly enough. With the majority of businesses only just taking the most basic steps on the road to IT transformation, because of major failings in the planning, resource allocation, staffing, collaboration and financial commitments needed to fulfil that vision.

Most IT leaders around the world give their businesses failing or near failing grades for their ability to adapt and innovate around transformational new technologies.  Which is, a significant problem as executives globally have IT transformation as central to their future plan to be competitive. The study, entitled “Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What’s Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals,”  is part of the ongoing initiative by the BPI Network and Dimension Data looking at the state of IT change and innovation at enterprises globally.

Just a few months ago, 92% of business executives globally said in a BPI Network survey that they were making progress toward adopting modern technologies to transform their companies into dynamic digital businesses. They predicted the three areas that would benefit most from transformation were: increased agility in the face of business changes (70%), greater cost efficiencies (57%) and a faster development of innovative new applications (47%).

To be successful in their IT transformation businesses need to move from a dependency on costly hardware systems located on the company premises to cloud and software-driven environments that have a more flexible cost structure, the ability to scale-up, meet a rising demand and have the flexibility to reshape the enterprise to meet unexpected business challenges.

Yet the BPI survey shows major failings in planning, resource allocation, staffing, collaboration and financial commitments that are impeding progress.

Among other complaints from the IT team are that business managers wait too long to bring them into the process (52%), don’t provide sufficient funding and resources to get the job done (48%), and then change job requirements before work can be completed (46%). IT workers also indicate that they are frequently not viewed as trusted partners in the innovation process, with more than half of respondents indicating that business leaders have a negative impression of the IT department.

The study also found that half of IT respondents believe their companies will eventually either move “everything” (13%) or “most operations” (37%) to the cloud. Some 11% of respondents said the cloud “doesn’t make sense” for their business.  Currently, 34% are using the cloud for data storage and 45% are using it for software-as-a-service applications. More than a third say their companies have not yet embraced the cloud.

With most organisations failing to execute an IT transformation largely due to a lack of executive commitment, absence of clear objectives, lack of technical knowledge among business managers, a deep shortage of skilled data and software engineers, and poor collaboration between IT and business staff members.

“This is exactly what I see in every client I visit,” said Kevin Leahy, General Manager for Data Centers for Dimension Data in the Americas. “What I find is a communication gap. What they’re spending time on is very low-level automation tasks. Instead, they should focus on innovation and disrupting their competitors. They need to focus on the tasks that will change business outcomes.”

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