Survey: business leaders see transformative technology as trigger for growth
Global business leaders expect their IT organizations to realize measurable business and competitive advantages from technology transformation reveals a new study from the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, an international executive change advocacy group.
The latest research part of the BPI Network’s Transform to Better Perform knowledge transfer initiative is aimed at rating the level of innovation in IT organizations. It finds the vast majority of business decision makers are dedicating more time and attention to understanding the strategic implications of disruptive technologies. They also want their companies to do a better job of embracing modern technologies and new channels of customer engagement and digital experience.
The new BPI Network study Accelerating Business Transformation Through IT Innovation: Getting the Business Leader Take on the IT Change Mandate² suggests that business leaders are creating a new scorecard for IT organizations, one that is focused on business innovation and growth as primary objectives for technology deployment and management. It also finds that business executives favor transformation of their IT infrastructures, including the adoption of new cloud-enable hybrid IT models and data center modernization.
While nearly 70 percent of global managers surveyed by the BPI Network believe technology has become ³far more important² 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, 52 percent feel it is poor or just making progress. Only 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.
The new BPI Network study Accelerating Business Transformation Through IT Innovation: Getting the Business Leader Take on the IT Change Mandate -- is sponsored by Dimension Data, a $6.7 billion ICT solutions and services provider.
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, while 38 percent of survey respondents believe an IT organization¹s ability to bring ideas and solutions for furthering business performance is another 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).
"From the C-suite to operational units, senior managers are eager to see progress in implementing a broad range of technologies that increase their agility, improve customer experience, and make their companies more competitive," notes Dave Murray, head of thought leadership at the BPI Network. "We believe this constitutes a new scorecard for IT, with greater emphasis on IT¹s role in driving business growth and market differentiation."
Expectations for IT organizations are rising within executive ranks relative to where and how transformational technology can impact business performance. Customer-facing innovations are the top three areas survey participants see technology uplifting business. This includes:
· Making it simpler and easier for people to do business with us
· Enriching the way we interact with customers and partners
· Improving the customer experience overall
A surprising 85 percent of business line executives surveyed report they are devoting more time, or are committed to, understanding the strategic implications of technologies. In this context, the top five IT transformational imperatives in their organizations are believed to be:
· Improve responsiveness to ever-changing business requirements
· Focus on digital experience as a competitive advantage
· Deliver applications faster, better and at lower cost
· Rethink how to better engage, acquire and service customers
· Understand and embrace disruptive technologies
In particular, those participating in the BPI Network survey see major benefits from data center and cloud transformation. Most notably, they anticipate:
· Increased agility and responsiveness to business changes (70 percent of respondents)
· Greater cost efficiencies (57 percent)
· Faster time to market (47 percent)
Relative to their data centers, some 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-premise data center and cloud.
"Companies in every industry and every part of the world are realizing that they must embrace a new model of business responsive data centers and networks in order to drive innovation, agility, and speed," said Richard Garratt of Dimension Data. "Today¹s discussion around the data center and cloud-enabled hybrid IT models is rooted in the need to respond more effectively and rapidly to the strategic needs of enterprises in a very fasting changing business environment."
When it comes to gaining competitive advantage, BPI Network survey respondents identified the top five transformative technologies they believed would create differentiation and business value. These include:
· Real-time intelligence from embedded sensors -- Internet of Things (35 percent)
· 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)
· Proliferation of smart mobile devices and applications (26 percent)
According to survey findings, there is a clear disconnect across organizations between the recognized need to adopt new technologies and actually achieving that goal. Top challenges listed for embracing new technology internally include:
· Gaining consensus and support for new technology investments
· Determining needs and optimal solutions available
· Minimizing information security risk, vulnerability and threats
· Successfully implementing and gaining organizational adoption
· Aging IT infrastructure that needs upgrading and modernization
The BPI Network research was undertaken in Q2 2015 and surveyed executives across a range of titles, company sizes, industry sectors and geographies. Some 22 percent of respondents represented companies with revenues of $1 billion or more and 31 percent had annual sales of between $100 million and $1 billion. The balance had revenues of less than $100 million.