IT departments don't have resources to innovate

IT departments are spending too much time keeping the lights on, according to a new survey.

Traditionally, over two-thirds of an annual IT budget is...

IT departments are spending too much time keeping the lights on, according to a new survey.

Traditionally, over two-thirds of an annual IT budget is spent on maintaining existing systems.

In the study commissioned by SAP, 60% of companies said that this IT strategy has held them back from investing in innovation. Respondents indicated that they face a wide range of issues that currently prevent them from investing in IT innovation.

"Our research has confirmed that companies continue to spend more of their IT budgets on operations than on IT innovation," said Chris McClain, senior vice-president of EMEA and India, SAP Premier Customer Network.

Forty-three percent of businesses claimed they had lost potential cost savings because of the spend deficit. Additionally, over half of the companies surveyed thought that they would get greater business value if more was spent on IT innovation.

Procter & Gamble, a user of SAP, is one of the businesses trying a shift the balance from operations to IT innovation.

"Today business is about speed and time to market, how to do things cheaper and more complete. Speed is a competitive advantage - IT needs to accelerate those aspects," said Thomas Seibert, Procter & Gamble applications management associate director.

"Streamlining business processes with IT and enabling them with accelerators is essential for us. Think of it: if you can bring things to market faster, that's when you're making a difference."

John Harris, who took over as chairman of the Corporate IT Forum in July 2010, believes technology will make running IT easier. Speaking to ComputerWeekly.com last year he said, "As the basic technology gets easier, some of the fire-fighting can go. It will be more about understanding and managing services well. It will be just IT, and businesses make use of it in certain ways to grow."

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