Increasingly, the C-suite is finding that the speed with which companies today are able to take advantage of new technology and exploit their IT operations determines the success of the entire business. A new survey out by the Harvard Business Review and Oracle this week shows that IT responsiveness stands as a huge arbiter of overall business agility, which starts with CIO leadership and trickles down into the way organizations leverage processes and technology. The results can be seen as a testament to why DevOps practices are gaining momentum in so many organizations, as respondents report a nearly one-to-one relationship between IT’s ability to react to business demands and overall business performance.
“Leaders are focusing on speed and broadening their view of where IT begins and ends,” the report explains. “They’re rethinking roles and relationships—and their own value proposition. And they’re making sure their company doesn’t miss opportunities because the IT department was too slow to respond.”
However, many companies are experiencing just this pain. Nearly half of respondents reported that their companies have missed opportunities because their IT department was too slow to respond to shifting business needs. And approximately 49 percent reported that a lack of bandwidth in IT is the primary obstacle of the organization to take advantage of digital technologies.
Conversely, when IT organizations are able to quickly move on line-of-business needs, bottom line success follows. Among those respondents who identified their companies as having responsive IT organizations 42 percent strongly agreed that their IT departments were highly successful at leveraging new technology for business advantage. Only 10 percent of those with moderately responsive IT could say the same.
This most recent finding bolsters another study out this year by Puppet Labs, which showed that high-performing IT teams using DevOps were more than twice as likely to exceed profitability, market share and productivity goals over more traditional IT shops, and they also had 50 percent higher market capitalization growth over three years.
The advantages of IT agility comes in many forms according to the Harvard Business Review study. For example, 68 percent of high performance IT organizations reported new technology had an impact on customer engagement, 64 percent said the same about work processes, 62 percent said new tech impacted product offerings and business models, and 59 percent reported new technology positively impacting core business operations and processes.
According to the survey, performance is highly dependent on IT’s ability to prioritize investments, a capability that a third of organizations do not have. Similarly, collaboration within IT and with line-of-business staff is another bellwether. The survey showed that only 21 percent of respondents believe that the IT organization alone primarily drives digital business innovations. Aproximately 40 percent say that it is actually an equal mix of IT and other business input, while 34 percent say the business primarily drives the technological innovation. However, organizations have a ways to go on the collaboration front. Approximately 42 percent of organizations report that they have a poor track record of facilitating collaboration across IT and business functions.