Global business leaders expect their IT organizations to realize measurable business and competitive advantages from technology transformation, according to a Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network study sponsored by Dimension Data.
The report found that business leaders are creating a new scorecard for IT organizations and that the vast majority of business decision makers are dedicating more time and attention to understanding the strategic implications of disruptive technologies.
Customer-facing innovations are the top three areas survey participants see technology uplifting business, including technologies that make it simpler and easier for people to do business, those that enrich the way businesses interact with customers and partners, and tech that improves the overall customer experience.
Among the top transformative technologies businesses believe would create differentiation and business value, Internet of things (IoT) technologies, specifically real-time intelligence from embedded sensors, topped the list with 35 percent, followed by always on, highly scalable and available Web business models (33 percent).
Social media data mining and more efficient engagement (29 percent), micro-targeting and personalization using big data analytics (28 percent), and proliferation of smart mobile devices and applications (26 percent) rounded out the top five.
In terms of performance metrics, 46 percent of survey respondents believe that ensuring the reliability, scalability and security of IT infrastructures is the most effective metric.
In addition, 38 percent of survey respondents believe an IT organization's ability to bring ideas and solutions for furthering business performance is a highly relevant metric.
Slightly less important was the quality and timeliness of application delivery (36 percent), incidence and speed of problem resolution (29 percent), and customer satisfaction with tech-driven business interface (27 percent).
Relative to their data centers, nearly half (48 percent) expect to modernize and upgrade these facilities, and 44 percent expect their companies to migrate to a hybrid IT model combining both on-premises data centers and the cloud.
While nearly 70 percent of global managers surveyed believe technology has become far more important to their business, less than half (47 percent) of the 250 executives polled rate the level of innovation in their IT groups as good or very high.
In contrast, the majority (52 percent) feel it is poor or just making progress, and just 42 percent say their IT groups are doing a good job of becoming a more strategic, responsive and valued business partner, compared to 58 percent who view their transition as poor or only making moderate headway.
Top challenges listed for embracing new technology internally included gaining consensus and support for new technology investments and determining needs and optimal solutions available.
Other major challenges companies face include minimizing information security risk, vulnerability and threats; successfully implementing and gaining organizational adoption; and dealing with aging IT infrastructure that needs upgrading and modernization.