IT industry has vital role in pulling UK out of recession

The IT industry has a vital role to play in bringing Britain out of recession and driving the economy over the next ten years, according to panelists at...

The IT industry has a vital role to play in bringing Britain out of recession and driving the economy over the next ten years, according to panelists at a BCS debate today.

But the inability of some senior executives to 'get' technology is holding some companies back and creating a disconnect between more traditional corporate IT departments and new, innovative technology start-up companies.

David Smith, a futurologist, said technologists need to be better at educating business directors and boards about new and emerging technology.

"The problem is that a lot of the business population is over 50, and not everyone gets it, "he said. "We need to help the people who drive the companies, own the budgets and who could invest in IT to make it exciting."

Its a worrying fact that email is the extent of many people's engagement with technology, said Smith, chief executive of Global Futures and Foresight.

Rebecca George, a partner at Deloitte and chair of the BCS Womens Forum, agreed, saying, "The people running our businesses understand it's important to know HR and finance, but haven't caught up with the implications of technology yet."

"We already know this is an issue. My concern is how we address it," she said.

The result is a level of disconnect between the corporate IT industry and a new generation of technology entrepreneurs coming up with new ways to make money from IT.

Fin Goulding, CIO at lastminute.com, said he wants to try and bridge the divide.

"I'm trying to bridge the gap between the establishment IT industry and the innovation that's occurring," he said. "We embrace innovation and working practices that appeal to a younger, up and coming workforce. I'm trying to find a way of connecting the two together."

Mike Butcher, editor of Techcrunch Europe which covers technology start up companies, said, "The BCS needs to get off its behind and talk about entrepreneurialism, because there's a massive disconnect between the corporate structure of the IT industry and the innovation that's happening."

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