Business Leaders Link IT Investment to Innovation and Recovery

Survey reveals true business impact of technology and the challenges facing cloud services

World business leaders believe underinvestment in IT has harmed innovation and cost them customers during the recession, according to a new international study by BT Global Services. The Enterprise Intelligence survey has also identified the challenges facing chief information officers (CIO), as enterprises wake up to cloud services.

The survey, conducted across 13 countries, delivers clear evidence that IT budget cuts during the recession are impairing business performance. A quarter of senior business executives say IT budget cuts have harmed innovation, with a similar number (23 per cent) saying IT budget cuts have prevented them winning business. More than a quarter (27 per cent) say their inability to find the right information when they needed it has cost them business during the recession.

BT commissioned Datamonitor to undertake the study of over 2,400 IT users and 270 CIOs and senior executives globally for its study, “Enterprise Intelligence: the challenge for the CIO in 2010.” The study reveals that nearly two thirds of CIOs (61 per cent) and senior executives (63 per cent) say ageing IT is a barrier to their ability to ‘think globally’. A similar number (57 per cent of CIOs and 60 per cent of senior executives) blame inadequate software solutions for the same issue.

Hanif Lalani, CEO of BT Global Services, said: “This research provides a snapshot into the current mindset of global CIOs and senior executives, and it should act as a call to action on key issues such as the role IT plays in driving global business success. The research also highlights that in the current climate, CIOs face key decisions about how they approach the upturn, when it comes, to ensure they thrive. There is a growing consensus that innovation will be rewarded as we exit the recession.”

The survey also found evidence suggesting that, if cloud services are to make the breakthrough analysts predict in 2010, perceptions among CIOs and senior business executives need to be addressed. For example, over half of CIOs (53 per cent) fail to see how cloud computing can save them money, even though the cloud delivery model is designed to reduce or eradicate capital expenditure requirements. The majority of CIOs (57 per cent) and senior executives (53 per cent) are not happy to run applications and store data on servers based outside their country, suggesting that a meaningful global market for cloud services is still evolving. The research shows how far the IT community has to go in order demonstrate cloud services are robust enough to support enterprise demands.

“Although we are already delivering enterprise-level cloud services, such as UC (unified communications), CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and VDC (virtual datacentre) many organisations are still in the early stages of adoption,” continues Hanif Lalani. “As our customers begin to feel the benefits of the economic upturn, proactive measures such as cloud adoption will enhance their ability to deliver strong return on investment in IT and network services.”

The full report, “Enterprise Intelligence: the challenge for the CIO in 2010”, can be downloaded from www.bt.com/globalservices.