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IT strategies benefit from taking risks

Businesses reward bold IT investments. But CIOs and tech teams need to focus on communicating benefits of new innovation to the business

A survey from the Financial Times for Apptio has reported that companies no longer operate with fixed technology strategies.

It found that IT decision-makers are now prepared to change direction as business strategies and customer expectations shift.

They are also willing to make bold investment decisions to support these strategy shifts because they recognise that there is enormous competitive risk in failing to act on opportunities as they appear, Apptio’s Disruption in the C-suite report noted.

More than half (56%) of organisations that are embracing digital transformation said they are adopting an agile, flexible strategic approach that constantly evolves based on continual learning from the business and customers.

Three-quarters of IT decision makers who identified themselves as bold technology investors said their IT strategy constantly evolved based on continual adapting to business and customer changes. Just more than half (53%) of those who identified themselves as low-risk technology investors said their IT strategy evolved constantly.

While technology leaders seek to drive growth through innovation, they expect to maintain almost the same proportion of effort enabling business model change over the next three years, as they balance the need for growth with the need to operate existing IT systems.

The survey reported that 71% of financial leaders wanted the IT function in their organisations to have greater influencing skills to deliver the changes the business needs.

The report recommended that IT leaders develop communication skills in their teams and ensure that they are equipped with the right blend of technical, business and influencing skills. Technology professionals will have to play the role of evangelist, explaining the advantages of certain technologies and advocating for them.

“Today, [having] mission and purpose is as important to engineers as it is to journalists,” said Cait O’Riordan, chief product and information officer at the Financial Times. “Technologists need to be able to communicate that passion.”

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