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Many businesses lack 'vital' innovation strategy, says CIO

Nine out of 10 businesses consider innovation as vital but only 37% have a clear strategy in place, delegates at the 360°IT infrastructure event at London's Earl's Court heard today.

Ian Alderton, international CIO and investment banking expert, said during a keynote discussion that innovation is critical for businesses during the downturn, to increase marketshare and operational efficiency. But the slashing of organisations' budgets has led to the disposal of research and development (R&D) departments.

"Innovation is one of the key factors for the success and longevity of the CIO and an organisation," said Alderton, a former European CIO for Wachovia Bank.

He told Computer Weekly that IT is the biggest barrier to innovation within organisations. He said the "sweet-spot" of innovation is reached when the business side of an organisation works with its IT department.

"When the CIO is connected with the CEO and IT is connected with the business, it's the only time I've seen it work well," he said.

Technology is viewed as a commodity, lacking a place within innovation agendas, so businesses need to be proactive in creating an environment where innovation is part of day-to-day roles, said Alderton.

"Organisations must leverage the true benefits of technology. Without the sponsorship of business, the 'sweet-spot' cannot be delivered," he said.


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