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The past 18 months and the experiences of the pandemic are meant to have increased appreciation for the IT department and brought them closer to the rest of their colleagues.
According to research from channel player Insight, however, the people in the IT department are still distanced from the rest of the organisation.
The firm found that less than a quarter of the organisations it quizzed gave IT leaders a seat on the board and 55% admitted that they were failing to take advantage of the latest technologies.
Insight’s Fixing the disconnect between IT and the business report shared a sense that IT needed to prove itself even more to get the ears of the board and gain backing for more investment. There is a danger, however, that a failure to invest in the latest technologies means customers will continue to waste money and suffer failed projects at a time when their competitors are steaming ahead with digital transformation efforts.
“The pandemic has brought about permanent changes to the way many of us live and work. We are not going to see a return to the status quo, and it’s absolutely imperative that organisations adapt,” said Emma de Sousa, president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Insight.
“There’s already a huge risk associated with making investments in the wrong place. But an incorrect investment at this moment in time could prove more damaging than ever before, leaving the enterprise unequipped for new ways of working and doing business. The gap between IT teams and the wider business must be closed as an urgent priority – businesses have to engage with IT on a more strategic basis and measure it against businesses objectives,” she said.
Emma de Sousa, Insight
There is an opportunity for the channel to help their IT department contacts bridge the gap in their organisations, with de Sousa insisting that things must change.
“The way IT is perceived and used within businesses has to fundamentally change. Having IT at arm’s length from the board is simply not good enough – it must be given a seat at the top table. Without this, businesses risk falling behind at a time when digital technology is driving change across all sectors,” she said.
“IT must be put front and centre, driving organisational change and being made directly accountable for doing so. If organisations give IT a voice on the board to drive strategy, let IT use that voice to support innovation, consult IT on what approaches will best meet the business’s objectives, and trust IT to perform against business KPIs [key performance indicators], they will be positioned to face the challenges of 2021 and beyond,” said de Sousa.
Food for thought
Insight’s findings revealed a disconnect between the IT department and the rest of the business in many customers.
It found that 81% of IT departments have freedom to invest in the skills they need and 82% are engaged to support business projects. But 59% aren’t measured against business KPIs.
It found that 57% of organisations need to invest in skills needed to support a remote workforce, while 60% need to invest more in the skills and technology needed to optimise the business.
The disconnect between IT and the rest of the business was a major factor in the £3.81m enterprise spend from 2018-2020 on projects that either did not provide the full benefits, or failed.