IT managers can't compete due to lack of integration

A third of UK businesses surveyed cannot effectively compete on a global scale due to poor IT integration, according to a European business study.

The survey, conducted by Vanson Bourne on behalf of Sterling Commerce, polled 374 IT managers in the UK, France and Germany and showed that UK companies lag behind both France and Germany in integrating both internal and external IT processes. Over 100 of the total sample came from the UK.

The survey showed that 44 per cent of all businesses believe this lack of integration limits their businesses ability to compete globally. In the UK, only 30 per cent of businesses feel their companies have successfully integrated IT systems compared to 85 per cent in Germany and 63 per cent in France.

Integrating these processes would make businesses more efficient; cutting time and costs as well as dealing with the constant changes in customer demand. However, 69 per cent said their organisations operate in a global supply chain that is more complex than it was three years ago.

"German and French companies are considerably more advanced than the UK in terms of improving internal systems integration and more importantly, they are integrating global supply chain partners more effectively" said Chris Hayes, senior product marketing manager for Sterling Commerce. "Considering that only four per cent of UK companies manage process integration with partners and customers through a single, centralised B2B gateway, there is a clear and pressing need for IT managers in the UK to start making IT process integration a business priority."