IT spending is often an issue for any organisation, but especially in harsh economic times it is even more important to see what benefit IT brings to the business. This report looks at the degree to which UK organisations understand what IT is doing for their business, and in particular how some companies measure this and benefit from it.
Companies have to remain competitive, but the recent years of prosperity have made this less of a driving need in many industries. Most organisations think they can outperform their rivals, and many believe that their approach to IT can play a significant part in this.
There is a link between the performance and capabilities of the IT function and overall business performance, but not everybody is aware of this, or takes advantage of it.
- Companies that believe they are growing have a more mature attitude to IT
- New technology should be viewed optimistically, but not with rose-tinted glasses
- Bringing in external experts can improve overall business performance without spiralling costs
- Too many IT projects run over time and budget or fail to meet their intended scope
- In difficult economic times the return on investment timescales shorten
- Few companies formally measure the impact of IT projects, and some do not measure it at all
Even during a recession, companies can not only survive, but thrive. To do this, the IT function must stick close to the business, be involved in the broader strategy and plans, and measurably demonstrate the success of IT investments in terms and language that the wider organisation understands and appreciates.
Even before doing this, the IT function has to control its budgets and resources, and recognise that where expertise is available from 3rd parties, it should be exploited as part of mutually beneficial partnerships. This should not only ensure that costs are manageable, but that suitable returns in terms of overall business performance and individual employee productivity are realised.