CIOs are followers, not leaders

Fujitsu Technology Solutions has warned that excessive caution amongst CIOs and IT directors could be hampering innovation as research showed that just one...

Fujitsu Technology Solutions has warned that excessive caution amongst CIOs and IT directors could be hampering innovation as research showed that just one in 10 admits to taking an aggressive, early adopter approach to new technologies.

In a survey of 200 IT directors and CIOs conducted by research firm Coleman Parkes for Fujitsu Technology Solutions, few IT directors classed themselves as innovators. The majority labelled themselves as followers.

Over half claimed they would not adopt a technology until it had proven successful in other installations. One in three (32%) said any technology would have to be "industry standard" before they even considered implementation within their company.

The survey found that 38% of IT leaders said they were increasingly required to justify costs as budgets tighten. As a result the majority of IT leaders (79%) have focused their IT activities on cost reduction.

One of the respondents - a FTSE 350 retail company CIO, said, "The larger, more stable companies cannot afford to be innovators as they might lose out competitively if implementations go wrong."

Another retail company CIO said, "IT is naturally risk averse and likes to use tried and trusted technology because it impacts so many parts of the business."

Paul Parrish, UK managing director for Fujitsu Technology Solutions, said, "Companies face the dual challenge of cost saving and continued innovation against the backdrop of the worst economic climate for decades. Progress in some companies will undoubtedly stall in 2009 but for others, the recession will act as a catalyst for change. Forward-thinking businesses will find new ways to gain a lead over their competitors and move on relatively unscathed. Those that are able to harness the power of IT in the coming months will be fitter and leaner for the upturn when it inevitably comes."

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