IT managers in public sector 'lack resources'

More than eight out of 10 senior IT managers in the public sector say they lack the resources to deliver the full promise of IT.

More than eight out of 10 senior IT managers in the public sector say they lack the resources to deliver the full promise of IT.

Just 14% of public sector managers believe IT professionals have sufficient resources to deliver on the promise of IT, with 86% disagreeing, according to a survey carried out for business technology software firm Mercury by researchers Vanson Bourne.

The survey, of more than 100 senior IT managers in both sectors, showed much greater satisfaction with resourcing in the private sector, where 53% of managers felt their IT departments had sufficient resources, against 47% who did not.

There was an even sharper contrast between the views of managers from the two sectors on the integration of IT with their employers' core business. In the private sector, seven out of 10 managers thought it was well integrated, while in the public sector less than one-third thought it was.

The research showed that more than three-quarters of public sector respondents had previous private sector experience, while just over one in five of their private sector colleagues had any public sector experience.

Managers from both sectors felt public sector employment offered a better work-life balance but worse salaries, with 94% of public sector managers believing their pay was below that in the private sector.

But while 60% of public sector IT managers felt their sector offered a better level of responsibility than the private sector, 90% of private IT professionals thought that their sector offered more responsibility than their public sector counterparts enjoyed.

Managers from both sectors believed public sector IT departments had "a nurturing culture", but the research report, UK IT Skills 2005, Private & Public Sector Analysis, said: "No one believes this is the case for the private sector."

It added: "Everyone believes IT is a scapegoat for the poor decisions of others."

Andrew Smith, public sector sales manager at Mercury, said, "The alignment of IT with business is important to everyone, but the business in government is so complex that there is a greater need for tighter control."

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