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Friday, 30 October 2015 15:46

Innovation inertia is preventing IT managers from making intelligent technology investments

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IT leaders know they must innovate to thrive in a digital future but the majority are concerned about where to place strategic investment in technology

The third ‘Information Innovation Index’ from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) has highlighted that 90% of IT leaders believe their business is unable to fully adapt rapidly to industry changes, with many suffering from ‘innovation inertia.’ Hitachi identified many root causes of the inertia including; a lack of consensus in business strategy, an inability to draw intelligent insights from their data, and a lack of agility to react to their problems. 

“Technology plays an integral role in helping UK organisations transform to thrive in a digital economy, but only if there is consensus about which technologies are relevant to future growth and about the ability to adapt to these known priorities”. Said Richard Gadd, UK managing director, Hitachi Data Systems. “This isn’t about innovating for innovation’s sake, it’s about UK organisations having the ability to garner valuable business insights to make informed technology investments that will drive future growth and enable UK organisations to redefine business agility. The pace of business change will never be this slow again, and to stay relevant for the long term, organisations need to know their business inside out so they can quickly capitalise on new revenue opportunities before their competition do.

The majority (81%) of CIOs say their organisation is not fully set up for the digital future, despite almost all (97%) understanding the importance of improving their use of technology.  Of those not fully set up, nearly half (46%) believe the business has not provided enough funding for priority investments, and consequently, 90% of IT leaders say their business is unable to fully adapt rapidly to industry changes.

The research also highlighted that 75% of IT leaders believe they are unable to make fully informed decisions due to a lack of access to business data and a lack of regular updates to that data. Drilling down HDS found that while 91% of IT leaders recognise that effectively storing, retrieving and analysing data can identify future revenue streams, more than 87% are facing barriers to using big data.

The majority 83%  signalled compliance as a major barrier to future technology investments, followed by 47% of IT leaders who wanted to wait to see what other businesses are investing in before making a commitment, and 43% of IT leaders blaming their organisation’s leaders for not being able to agree on priorities for investment.

Additionally IT leaders also listed organisational culture and legacy IT systems as the main barriers to business agility, with 97% of IT leaders feel that their organisation could improve how they use technology, with potential business benefits including increased staff efficiency improved customer service, and faster delivery of internal projects

“It’s not surprising that IT leaders feel concerned when it comes to making strategic investment decisions. The digital evolution feels scary because they are having to throw out every theory and intuition they have about the technology needs of their business at a speed we have never worked to before,” said Bob Plumridge, EMEA CTO, Hitachi Data Systems. “They are changing from a pragmatic, controlled, cost-centric approach to one that is visionary and service-led, navigating a vast choice in technology innovation, complex compliance challenges and fast-evolving business goals.

“The key to overcoming this innovation inertia is understanding that businesses can’t transform everything at once,” said Plumridge. “The research shows that nearly all IT leaders (96%) believe legacy IT systems provide risk to future growth, however when implementing new technology, a complete overhaul of current technology isn’t always necessary. Instead IT leaders need to successfully identify and drive the innovations that matter the most, connecting the technology they need today with the technology that will be integral to future success. It is by aligning with the business and employing informed insights, derived from their organisation’s data, that businesses can start cutting through the trees and understanding which innovations are most important to driving business growth.”

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