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Technology investment threatened by innovation inertia

IT leaders think their businesses are unable to adapt to industry changes and cannot make fully informed decisions due to lack of data, according to a survey by Hitachi Data Systems

The majority of IT leaders think their business cannot fully adapt to industry changes and don’t know where to place strategic technology investments, a survey shows.

Hitachi Data System’s Information innovation index surveyed 200 IT decision makers in the UK and found that only 19% of them are “fully prepared for digital transformation”.

Some 75% of those surveyed said they are unable to make fully informed decisions due to a lack of clarity around business strategy and data, with 93% saying they don’t know where to strategically invest in technology.

The main reasons for not knowing or being able to invest in the right IT, according to respondents, were a lack of access to business data and a lack of regular updates to data to make informed decisions.

Nearly half of the respondents (47%) said they would rather wait to see what other businesses in their sector are investing in before making a decision themselves.

Richard Gadd, UK managing director for Hitachi Data Systems, said that technology plays an “integral role” in helping businesses get to grips with a digital economy, “but only if there is consensus about which technologies are relevant to future growth and about the ability to adapt to these known priorities”.

“This isn’t about innovating for innovation’s sake, it’s about UK organisations having the ability to garner valuable business insights to make informed technology investments that will drive future growth and enable UK organisations to redefine business agility,” said Gadd.

The survey paints a bleak picture of businesses adopting technology, as 81% of CIOs surveyed said they are not “set up for the digital future”, despite saying they understand the importance of technology.

Money is also listed as a barrier to investing in technology, with 46% saying their businesses aren’t providing enough funding.

“The pace of business change will never be this slow again, and to stay relevant for the long term, organisations need to know their business inside out so they can quickly capitalise on new revenue opportunities before their competition does,” said Gadd.

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If IT leaders want more innovation, they'll have to nurture it. New ideas rarely wander in the door and jump on the conference room table. It's a rare company that asks workers to be creative when there's a job to be done. If you want innovation, that has to be the job. 

Data is quite another problem, perhaps best resolved by a Chief Creative Officer or a Chief Information Officer (though the initials are taken). In this data-inundated world, if IT isn't finding the data they need, they're not looking hard enough. 
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