IT is failing to drive business growth as expected, according to a global survey of C-level board members, senior executives and managers commissioned by Juniper Networks.
But in the coming years, IT will be the main growth driver for many firms as it leads the way through innovation and identifying new market opportunities.
A total of 474 respondents from Germany, Japan, the UK and US were questioned by the Economist Intelligence Unit to find out what IT meant to their businesses. According to the findings, the highest-performing companies – those that reported a stronger financial performance than their peers – identified a different role for IT in key areas of their business.
In total, 20 per cent more of the high-performing players said technology played a very strong role in their firm’s performance, while 11 per cent more of the high-performing firms strongly agree that the IT function can support business growth by identifying new market opportunities. Finally, eight per cent more of the best-performing firms said the IT function was very closely involved in helping develop new products and services.
Sixty per cent of all respondents said IT will be very closely or somewhat closely involved in helping to develop new products or services for the company over the next three years.
Respondents to the survey predicted the top technology investments over the next three years will be business information analysis (33 per cent), closely followed by business process management (31 per cent), cloud computing/virtualisation (29 per cent) and mobile devices (26 per cent).
Technology trends that will influence the competitiveness of organisations over the next three years will include collaboration and information sharing through networks, the myriad mobile devices and the "ubiquitous nature" of connected devices and integrated systems.
Rozina Ali, deputy editor of the Economist Intelligence Unit, said: “Businesses still view the IT function in the traditional role of improving process efficiency. However, to really take advantage of an increasingly digitised world, companies need to recognise the potential value of IT as a collaborative partner in identifying new opportunities.”
Bask Iyer, chief information officer of Juniper Networks, said: “We must embrace disruptive technologies such as cloud and mobile that are propelling business growth to create an opportunity for IT to step out of a support function into a more strategic role. By creating new products and services and identifying new market opportunities, IT can truly transform and technologically enable the business.”
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