Issues of e-commerce have moved up this year to become the second most pressing management challenge for IT directors. Top challenge is staff recruitment and retention, while that old chestnut, the role of IT in business strategy, comes third.
These findings are from one of the best UK user surveys, taken on board the annual three-day IT Directors' Forum cruise. Of 299 IT director respondents, from all sectors except financial services, 97 (32%) put staffing as their number one challenge, 28% e-commerce, and 22% their relationship with business strategy. This top cluster was followed by managing change (14%) and getting board understanding of IT (10%).
Fewer IT directors agreed on key challenges such as: culture change; outsourcing; cost-cutting; reorganisation; motivating staff; and image and perception. Only 2% prioritised euro preparation. The word on the street is: watch out, when things start to move they will move fast.
The key technical challenges facing IT bosses over the next two years are less peaky: e-commerce (20%), security (13%), networking (12%), mobile computing (12%) and Web applications (12%).
Overall, this clustering of management challenges reflects a healthy, consistent will among IT directors to ensure there is close linking of their organisation's e-business and IT activities.