Businesses still worry that IT can't support business change

Technology isn't living up to expectations when it comes to supporting the rapid rate of business change, according to research published this week.

An overwhelming 97 per cent of firms surveyed by Capgemini Consulting - with average budgets of more than €100 million a year - say that they have experienced major business change in the last three years.

But alarmingly, 38 per cent of them don't have faith that business IT is agile enough to keep pace with the dynamic nature of their business, while 29 per cent think that it's their IT department that's dragging its heels.

"Business transformation is accelerating, often due to increased legislation, and is prevalent across all sectors and all regions," said Gilles Camoin, global leader of the business and information strategy practice within Capgemini Consulting.

"In order to remain competitive in this environment, firms must approach change proactively. By changing their philosophy to one based on customer intimacy and focusing on becoming responsive to external drivers, businesses will become more agile and able to respond to other external change. Those that take control of change will create sustainable competitiveness and those that resist will be forced into change at great expense."

Given that eight out of ten of those questioned stated that IT agility is the strategic imperative needed to ensure the organisation as a whole is agile, there is a worrying divide between what's required and what is actually possible.

"IT agility enables business freedom. Whilst many CIOs have built an IT function that can work with the business to adapt to a fast changing business environment, a significant number are worried they cannot keep up," said Camoin.

"People are the primary enabler for change and a key source of competitive advantage. However, although most recognise people are the most important function, they are not making enough effort to foster an agile mindset."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.