Survey Weighs Importance of Passion for Innovation to Business Success

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Survey Weighs Importance of Passion for Innovation to Business Success

IT consulting company Softchoice surveyed IT and business professionals to learn their views on the importance of technology and innovation to the success of their organizations.

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Few Business Pros Say Their Leaders Are Eager to Invest in Innovation

Many of the business-side employees surveyed by Softchoice say that passion about technology leads to innovation, which leads to success. However, just 27 percent say that their company’s leaders are actually passionate about “investing in and leveraging new technology to become more agile and innovative.”

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Passion for Innovation Brings Results

Softchoice found that passion can pay off in a big way. The company said that when business leaders are passionate about technology, 97 percent are likely to address issues with innovation. Another 53 percent of business leaders can respond “very well to market trends,” and 70 percent say their bosses are “open to risk-taking.”

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IT Leaders Are More Likely to Describe Companies as Innovation

Interestingly, IT leaders are more likely to see innovation within their company than business side colleagues. In fact, 97 percent of IT leaders think their organization is innovative, up from 86 percent on the business side. Nearly 6 in 10 IT leaders say their organizations are “very innovative,” compared to 37 percent for business employees.

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IT Pros Get More Time for Innovation

Innovation opportunities aren't equally available to IT pros and business side employees. According to the survey, 91 percent of IT leaders say they’re given the time to innovate on new ideas—about double the time of what business side employees say they spend on innovation. Half of all IT leaders say they spend about 20 hours per month on business innovation, compared to 15 percent for business employees.

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Is the Infrastructure Innovative?

In order to turn innovation into measurable business achievements, companies need infrastructure. But again, there’s a disconnect between the IT and business sides on whether it’s available. Ninety-three percent of IT leaders say their companies have the requisite infrastructure and platforms to achieve innovation goals. But three-quarters of business-side employees say they don’t have the infrastructure that they need and want to spend more on technology to support innovation.

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IT and Business Employees Need More Collaboration Time

Getting “facetime” with IT leaders to create innovative opportunities for the company is critical, employees say. However, just 50 percent of employees say they spend “enough” time with IT to flesh out their innovative ideas and make them a reality. Just 26 percent of business-side employees say they’re spending “plenty” of time with IT professionals on the company’s innovation piece.

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IT, Business Leaders Need to Meet to Discuss Challenges

Softchoice found that employees might be frustrated by the amount of time they spend working with IT leaders on business challenges. Just 26 percent of employees say that the IT side frequently meets with teams to fundamentally understand business challenges and address them with technology. More than a third of respondents say IT and business sides hardly ever meet to discuss business challenges—if at all.

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There Are Mixed Views on IT Involvement in Planning

Even when IT leaders are given a voice on business planning, opinions on their effectiveness is mixed with 59 percent of survey respondents saying IT leaders can act as a “hindrance” to executive decisions. However, 78 percent of business professionals still see IT leaders as drivers of innovation with the company.

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Investing in Cloud Computing Aid Innovation

In general, companies that invest heavily in the cloud are more willing to encourage technology innovation. Softchoice found that in 72 percent of companies that are “majority cloud,” IT is regularly reaching out to business-side employees to understand their pain points. In addition, 61 percent of companies that are “majority cloud” are more agile and can quickly change things up to fix potential problems.

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Why Innovation Matters

The data is clear, Softchoice says. When companies are innovative and rely on technology to drive innovation, they’re “more likely to be nimble and creative.” Employees, the study finds, are also likely to be more efficient at identifying challenges and finding solutions. Ultimately, innovation is a key to business growth.

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CompTIA's 2017 IT Industry Outlook Predicts Strong Growth

The IT industry is strong. That’s the main takeaway from CompTIA’s latest report, “IT Industry Outlook 2017.” The study, which includes a look at everything from broad industry trends to changes in the cloud, predicts overall IT industry spending will grow 4.1 percent this year to more than $3.5 trillion. The growth in spending is expected to occur in several areas, including increasing cloud adoption and the ongoing appeal of the internet of things. But the industry also is undergoing a major “digital business transformation” that’s affecting both small and large enterprises, according to CompTIA. The report also notes that IT Industry business confidence is particularly high and total industry employment in the United States is up year over year. Despite those successes, enterprises still are dealing with challenges including the IT skills gap. This slide show will discuss some of the more...
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