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December 06, 2012

Survey Says IT Departments Drive Efficiency, but not Business Growth

According to a new survey coming out of Juniper Networks (News - Alert), in cooperation with the Economist Intelligence Unit, the IT industry is falling short of expectations for this year. Although IT departments in most companies help toward boosting overall efficiency, the survey found that IT departments are not driving business growth.

The survey compiled answers from approximately 474 respondents across Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the United States, and the findings were generally the same: the higher level the company, the more the IT department is being used in a different, and therefore more productive, way. 

Image via Shutterstock

Survey respondents were made up mainly of C-level and board members of various, with some senior executives and managers thrown into the mix.

Specifically the findings came in as follows:

  • 20 percent of the higher-performing companies said that technology plays a very strong role in their organization’s financial performance.
  • 11 percent of those same companies strongly agreed that IT functions to support business growth by identifying new market opportunities.
  • Eight percent of the higher-performing companies feel IT function is closely involved in helping develop new products and services.

In short, IT is not a priority for most companies. Additionally, few respondents reported successfully collaborating with IT on strategic business matters: only nine percent listed IT as helping identify new market opportunities, only six percent reported IT identifying new innovations, and only five percent listed IT as helpful in developing a competitive business strategy for their company.

But just why is IT failing to meet the expectations of most companies?

According to Rozina Ali, deputy editor for the Economist Intelligence Unit, “Businesses still view the IT function in the traditional role of improving process efficiency.”

Despite the survey’s findings, Ali and others continue to put their faith in IT, and insist that IT departments have the capability to influence business growth for their companies.

“To really take advantage of an increasingly digitized world, companies need to recognize the potential value of IT as a collaborative partner in identifying new opportunities,” said Ali.

Bask Iyer, senior vice president and chief information officer for Juniper Networks, agrees.

“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,” explained Iyer.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO Miami 2013, Jan 29- Feb. 1 in Miami, Florida.  Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO (News - Alert). Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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