Enterprises aren't listening to their IT teams and are paying the price

Not listening

A disconnect between IT teams and the wider business is preventing organizations from adopting new technologies and jeopardizing their long-term response to the pandemic, according to new research from Insight.

Despite the importance of IT to delivering on strategic objectives, 72 percent treat IT as a utility rather than a business enabler, with just 22 percent giving IT a seat on the board. This has direct effects for enterprises as 55 percent are failing to take advantage of new technologies because they aren't listening to IT.

This has been highlighted during the pandemic, with 83 percent of senior IT decision makers believing ways of working have been permanently transformed. Yet at least 61 percent of organizations are reluctant to invest in projects that could improve the employee experience or optimize the business because they believe things will eventually return to a pre-COVID-19 'normal'.

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"The pandemic has brought about permanent changes to the way many of us live and work. We are not going to see a return to the status quo, and it’s absolutely imperative that organisations adapt," says Emma de Sousa, president, EMEA at Insight. "There's already a huge risk associated with making investments in the wrong place. But an incorrect investment at this moment in time could prove more damaging than ever before, leaving the enterprise unequipped for new ways of working and doing business. The gap between IT teams and the wider business must be closed as an urgent priority: businesses have to engage with IT on a more strategic basis, and measure it against businesses objectives."

Among other findings are that 81 percent of IT departments have freedom to invest in the skills they need, and 82 percent are engaged to support business projects. However, 59 percent aren’t measured against business performance indicators.

Work is needed to overcome the skills gap too, 57 percent of organizations say they need to invest more in the skills and technology needed to support their remote workforce, and 60 percent need to invest more in the skills and technology needed to optimize the business.

"The way IT is perceived and used within businesses has to fundamentally change," de Sousa adds. "Having IT at arm's length from the board is simply not good enough: it must be given a seat at the top table. Without this, businesses risk falling behind at a time when digital technology is driving change across all sectors. IT must be put front and centre, driving organizational change and being made directly accountable for doing so. If organizations give IT a voice on the board to drive strategy; let IT use that voice to support innovation; consult IT on what approaches will best meet the business's objectives; and trust IT to perform against business KPIs, they will be positioned to face the challenges of 2021 and beyond."

Image credit: gpointstudio/depositphotos.com

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