Big firms 'blind' to IT-failure risks

Many large companies have developed a “blind spot” over the risks posed by IT failures, a new report has warned.

Many large companies have developed a “blind spot” over the risks posed by IT failures, a new report has warned.

The report – Managing IT Business Risk: Safeguarding the Organisation from IT Failure – from the Economist Intelligence Unit and business technology optimisation software firm Mercury Interactive is based on a survey of more than 1,000 IT executives in 22 countries.

It found that a third of senior IT managers in UK businesses thought IT business risk was not managed in a co-ordinated way, while 11% said their companies did not attempt to measure IT business risk at all.

When the IT managers were asked to say what business outcomes were heavily dependent on IT, 80% cited reducing the cost of operations, while two-thirds highlighted meeting regulatory requirements and nearly six out of ten pointed to the ability to merge businesses.

But the survey revealed that 55% of UK IT managers believed that half or fewer of their IT initiatives over the past two years had delivered the expected business outcomes.

The report concludes UK firms are failing to take proper account of the risk that IT failure poses to these key business aims. Denis McCauley, director of global technology research at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said, “The global research reveals that there is a blind spot in business today regarding the risk that IT failure creates in the business.

“Many companies do not manage IT business risk in a co-ordinated fashion, which should be a concern given that IT failure can lead to serious business problems, including loss of revenue and customers.”

 

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