IT workers claim their companies are 'failing' or 'near failing' to innovate and adopt new technologies that transform their businesses, according to a new study.
This is despite business executives seeing IT transformation as a major competitive factor and strategic objective.
The global study, carried out by the Business Performance Innovation Network (BPI Network) and sponsored by Dimension Data, looked at the perspective of IT workers on innovation and change across multiple industries.
Only 35 per cent of IT respondents rated their company's ability to adapt to new transformative technologies as ‘good’ or ‘very good’, while more than 70 per cent report they have not even begun or are just ‘getting started’ on the road to IT transformation.
The research report - Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What's Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals - highlights the growing gap between enterprise leaders and laggards in IT transformation.
In another recent BPI Network report, 92 percent of business executives said they were making progress toward adopting modern technologies to transform their companies into dynamic digital businesses.
Currently just 15 per cent of IT execs said they have a clear and detailed plan for IT transformation, while 83 per cent say their plans provide only general direction, need updating or they don't exist at all.
More than 80 per cent of frontline IT workers said they spend more than half of their time troubleshooting and maintaining legacy systems, while 17 per cent said they spend 90 per cent of their time on routine maintenance tasks.
Key challenges noted included a lack of long term planning, deficiencies in key skills, insufficient funding, and scarce communications and collaboration with the business side. Globally, the biggest problem was business manages waiting too long to bring IT into the planning process (52 per cent).
IT workers also indicated 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.
APAC workers cite lack of resources, lack of understanding
IT workers across the Asia-Pacific region, including Australia, cited a lack of resources, shifting priorities, and lack of understanding of systems as key issues that were holding back innovation across their organisations.
Almost half of businesses in the APAC region noted a perceived lack of IT resources (48 per cent), compared to 30 per cent globally. Further, three in five IT workers in the APAC region (59 per cent) said they were under-resourced, with 4 per cent “severely under-resourced”, while global numbers were 47 per cent and 15 per cent respectively, demonstrating a lack of local severity comparatively.
Funding was also an issue with 8 per cent globally saying their IT departments were well funded. Nobody in the APAC region felt their had sufficient funds for innovation projects.
Almost half (48 per cent) of APAC respondents highlighted that IT doesn’t understand business needs, compared to 33 per cent of respondents globally. APAC is also seeing more IT transformation pushed by line of business leaders (44 per cent) rather than the CIO or CEO, compared to 24 per cent globally.
Funding was also an issue with only 8 per cent of global respondents saying they were well funded. Nobody in the APAC region felt funding for innovative projects was sufficient.
Donovan Neale-May, executive director of the BPI Network, said that corporate executives now believe technology-led business innovation is a critical competitive factor in every sector of the global economy.
“As this study clearly demonstrates, most companies lack the people, processes and investments to make transformation a reality," said Neale-May.
"We can expect to see a continuing shakeout between the leaders and laggards in technology-led transformation."
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.