Reshaping information technology for innovation
In its recently published global IT survey, McKinsey has reports that although businesses now appreciate the strategic importance of technology, they are also increasingly critical of its operational shortcomings. The annual study, now in its eighth year, polled senior executives at over 800 companies around the world on their current thinking on business and technology strategy and how they planned to use information technology for innovation.
One of the main positive messages is that executives now see IT as more than just a tool for cutting costs. New emphasis is being placed on harnessing the ability of technology to drive productivity, efficiency and innovation. However, the McKinsey research also highlighted technology concerns at board level.
New priorities beyond infrastructure
Although spending on IT is up the priority for companies is improving business effectiveness, efficiency and information availability. IT funding is still mostly focussed on infrastructure but there is an expectation that spending on analytics and innovation will increase in the near future.
Overall satisfaction with IT is down. Business leaders believe that information technology is currently less effective than it was in previous years. They see it as less effective at enabling business goals such as knowledge-sharing, product and market development and contributing to profitability.
What is perhaps most interesting is that it is the CIOs and other senior IT managers who are the most damning of IT's current levels of performance.
Increasing pressure and dissatisfaction?
Respondents to the McKinsey survey cite the capability, competence and influence of IT management and staff as being central to the ability for technology to deliver the goods, with many businesses opting simply to replace key IT personnel to improve performance. As McKinsey comments: "Amid the increasing pressure and dissatisfaction, the enthusiasm to replace management highlights the concerns of some IT organizations that their leaders cannot manage change in rapidly evolving circumstances."
Asked how IT's shortcomings might be addressed, executives also highlight the following as key areas for remedial action:
- improving business accountability for technology,
- re-allocating funding to projects aimed at delivering real business value, and
- improving governance, oversight and understanding of the technology.
The conclusion is that as well as looking at how they manage tech talent, organisations need to have better visibility and control over their technology programmes and processes. To successfully use information technology for innovation is key for the majority of businesses today. However, to do it successfully requires a holistic view and a roadmap to navigate by, making their business requirements and their software work as part of the same process.
If McKinsey's findings are to be believed, business leaders need and want more control and greater visibility of their IT. They need to make sure that it's free to innovate but that it also provides feedback that means the organisation can make decisions and plans around their application portfolio. Adaptavist CALM provides this, helping manage and streamline the process a holistic view that aligns business objectives with technical drivers.
To find out more about how CALM and application lifecycle intelligence can help your business, contact Adaptavist now.