Investment in IT critical to recovery, say business leaders

Business leaders say that investment in IT is critical to promote economic recovery, according to a KPMG survey.

Investment in new and improved technology is critical to driving business recovery, say business leaders.

With global economies stuttering, over half of company executives believe that investing in IT will help them kick-start their businesses.

The finding, from interviews with 300 business leaders worldwide, suggests the executives are feeling more positive about driving growth in their own organisations.

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“There is clearly some optimism beginning to emerge in businesses around the globe, “ said Bill Thomas, partner in KPMG’s advisory practice, which conducted the research.

Innovative technologies, such as cloud computing, will help to drive businesses as they mature, say 51% of the executives surveyed.

Some 43% of executives suggest that outsourcing will be critical to their ongoing success. And 33% say they will need to harness big data technology, which allows companies to gain more from the information they already collect, to succeed.

Inadequate IT systems will have a negative impact on growth unless they are dealt with, say 51% of the senior executives.

However, businesses in the Asia-Pacific region are planning to spend more on IT than those in the western economies which have been hit by the downturn.

Some 55% of executives in the region plan to grow spend on IT, compared to only 37% in the Europe, Middle East and Africa, the survey suggests.

Companies are responding to calls for great transparency, with business leaders planning to improve corporate governance and customer service.

Cloud computing, business intelligence software, and a more sophisticated approach to social media, will help companies build stronger relationships with their customers, 60% of business leaders in North America believe.

But this figure falls to 55% in Asia and 38% across Europe.

Thomas said that despite negative news about the economy and three years of cost cutting, executives are beginning to think about the green shoots of recovery.

“Yet it remains important to balance the desire for investment with the need to optimise costs,” he said.

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