Most IT Workers Give Failing Grade to Businesses

Almost 45 percent of IT pros polled said they feel improved collaboration between IT groups and business leaders is critically needed.

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Most frontline IT professionals around the world give their companies failing or near-failing grades on their ability to implement transformational technologies and drive IT innovation to gain competitive advantage, according to a report from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network.

The study, based on a global survey of more than 200 IT professionals, found that almost 45 percent feel improved collaboration between IT groups and business leaders is critically needed.

Only 18 percent said there are active cross-functional teams in their companies today, and another 14 percent said they rarely speak with business managers or speak only out of necessity.

"We knew from a prior study that 93 percent of business executives want to adopt new technologies and a similar percentage say technology is more important than it was just five years ago," Tom Murphy, editorial director for the BPI Network, told eWEEK. "So it was most surprising to see that 72 percent of IT frontline workers say they have not even started or are just getting started on the adoption of these transformative technologies."

There are as many companies that say it's not a priority or they've taken no action as there are companies that say they're well on the way or already up and running, Murphy explained. BPI expected far more companies to be, at the least, well on the way, he added.

"Every executive we spoke to—both on the business and IT sides—agreed that technology is key to the future of any enterprise-level company around the world," he said. "The new report finds that there is a new division between leaders and laggards."

About 28 percent of companies say they're well on the way to transformation or already have new systems up and running, according to the survey findings.

"They're now building on their leads through greater efficiency, faster application development and much greater agility to respond to shifting market conditions," Murphy said. "The remainder—the laggards—will increasingly fall behind, and over time, it will be much harder for them to catch up as the benefits of transformation accrue for the leaders."

Among other complaints from the IT team are that business managers wait too long to bring them into the process (52 percent), don't provide sufficient funding and resources to get the job done (48 percent) and then change job requirements before work can be completed (46 percent).

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.

"There are constant improvements in cloud-based technologies that make them easier to use, faster to add and less costly to finance," Murphy said. "And IT workers—on the whole—are people who love to innovate, love to solve problems. So we think we could be heading into a golden age of technology where the pace of innovation will accelerate and that will become a new normal."