Biggest hurdles to innovation include lack of skills, no long term planning, poor funding and collaboration, survey finds.
We’ve been writing a lot about what it takes for IT organizations to transform their business-technology systems to drive agility and innovation. Interestingly, according to a recent study conducted by the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, most IT professionals think their businesses are failing, or pretty close to failing, when it comes to driving forward with IT transformational efforts.
The report, Bringing Dexterity to IT Complexity: What’s Helping or Hindering IT Tech Professionals, found that those on the front-lines making their organizations networks, cloud deployments, data centers, and applications work believe that a serious lack of planning, skills gap, lack of budget, and poor communications and collaboration with business managers remain serious obstacles in their organizations to innovation and the IT transformation they need. This is despite most organizations, CEOs, CIOs, repeatedly citing the importance of technology in their efforts to innovate and compete.
The survey is based on responses from 200 IT workers in North and Latin America (38%), Europe (23%), the Middle East/Africa (20%) and Asia/Australia (18%). The survey was sponsored by IT infrastructure and services provider Dimension Data. However, IT workers say their organizations’ biggest weaknesses are long-term planning, application development, data analytics and software engineering.
The survey found that roughly 80 percent of IT respondents spend more than 50 percent of their time maintaining and troubleshooting older IT systems. Important findings from the survey include more than 80 percent of frontline IT workers say they spend over 50 percent of their time troubleshooting and maintaining legacy systems instead of driving innovation. And 17 percent say they spend 90 percent of their time on routine maintenance tasks.
“Instead of ushering their companies into a new age of highly agile innovation, IT workers are hindered by a growing list of maintenance tasks, staff cutbacks and aging infrastructure. All the while, growing tension between IT and their business colleagues has proven a roadblock to the type of communication that fosters collaboration, innovation and true IT transformation. Some 43 percent identified serious communication issues,” the report stated.
The survey’s major findings reveal:
- Only 35 percent of respondents rate their company’s ability to adapt to new transformative technologies as good or very good.
- Over 70 percent of IT workers report they have not even begun or are just “getting started” on the road to IT transformation.
- Just 15 percent have a clear and detailed plan for transformation. Over 80 percent say their plans provide only general direction, need updating or don’t exist at all.
- Almost 45 percent said improved collaboration between IT groups and business leaders is critically needed. Only 18 percent said there are active cross-functional teams in their companies today. Another 14 percent said they rarely speak with business managers or speak only out of necessity.
The survey also found that respondents believed (52 percent) the business managers who own a new initiative or application want too long too bring IT or developers into the process, and 48 percent say that business managers fail to properly fund their initiatives. The survey indicated that roughly half of respondents believe business managers think poorly of the IT team.
Also interestingly, about one-third of respondents reported that their organizations have yet to move to cloud computing. Only 13 percent think they will move all of their systems to the cloud, while 37 percent foresee most of their systems moving to cloud. While 34 percent use the cloud for data storage and 45 percent for software-as-a-service applications.
Finally, 11 percent of respondents said the cloud “doesn’t make sense” for their business.