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Boards see IT spend as key to unlock growth

Cliff Saran

UK business leaders have described IT as critical to their long-term strategy and called on the government to introduce further tax breaks for IT investment.

In a survey of board directors at more than 150 UK companies by The Economist Intelligence Unit, 53% of respondents said the policy of providing tax breaks for business and technology investment would be most likely to boost growth in the UK economy.

Bill Alexander, group chief executive of utility RWE Thames Water, said in the report, "We are not investing enough in technology."

Business directors also said in the survey, which was commissioned by SAP, that IT was essential to their long-term strategy. Eighty-two per cent of respondents described technology as very important to their strategic business goals.

Tighter integration of business systems, such as connecting enterprise software applications with back-office systems, was one of the main areas where IT promised to deliver the greatest impact on revenue growth, according to 60% of those surveyed.

Customer relationship management software was also a priority for the businesses surveyed, with 41% planning to improve CRM this year.

Daniel Franklin, editorial director at The Economist Intelligence Unit, said the survey showed that UK businesses were focused on growth within the UK rather than abroad, which put greater emphasis on CRM.

"Businesses are driving more out of existing products, which requires IT systems to improve efficiency," he said.


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