IT executives are failing to demonstrate the value of technology or lead developments in business strategy, according to a survey of 300 chief information officers from Deloitte.
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It found that CIOs focus on basic metrics such as ‘productivity’, ‘cost cutting’ and ‘delivery times’. But nearly three-quarters admit their attempts to measure the value of IT have been only ‘somewhat’ or ‘not’ successful.
Only one in ten saw themselves as leading the development of business strategy. Deloitte said a renewed focus needs to be placed on driving new profit.
The report’s author Neil Allcock said: ‘It’s been a hard year for most companies economically. This is not be aided by a series of painful security scares which have resulted in IT executives focusing on a “firefighting” role.’
The report found that all organisations had developed ways of looking at IT value, although the techniques used varied in sophistication. The top methods cited were: ‘increase in productivity’ (67%), ‘decreased costs’ (66%), ‘project timeliness’ (65%) and ‘total cost of ownership’ (51%).
But even when the value of IT was measured, executive management often disregarded the results – only 59 per cent of CIOs believed that management’s perception of the value of technology was accurate.
Deloitte enterprise risk services partner Neil Yeomans said in a statement: ‘Measuring value must become a much higher priority. CIOs need to renew their focus on this if they are to succeed in communicating the strategic role of IT at board level and developing a balanced agenda.’
According to the research IT spending is up. One third of respondents believed that IT spending would increase in 2004 compared with the previous year. Key spending focuses included general upgrades and consolidation of existing systems.
Allcock said: ‘Chief executives often see IT as just another overhead, so it’s no wonder that CIOs do not feel valued. The good news is that IT spending is up, although CEOs are unlikely to welcome this.’