IT budgets, and careers, held back by lack of understanding

New research shows IT budgets held up and the careers of managers harmed because the board doesn't get technology

Technology is still at loggerheads with the rest of the business when it comes to demonstrating the value that IT brings, according to new research.

More than three quarters of those surveyed feel that difficulties in demonstrating technology's role in business success is one of the major reasons for IT budgets not being approved. More worryingly, it is also proving to be a career obstacle, with more than half (57 per cent) citing it as a key reason for failing to achieve a board-level position.

"The role of IT is rapidly changing, particularly as organisations become more complex," said Graham Ridgway, chief executive officer of Touchpaper, who commissioned the research.

"Information technology should be seen not just as a cost centre, supplying infrastructure, but as an enabler of an organisation's overall business objectives.

"But our research shows that IT departments are still struggling to be seen this way. And the lack of a strategic approach to measuring their contribution is part of the problem."

Just 40 per cent of UK enterprises are formally measuring the contribution that IT makes to the delivery of business goals, according to a Vanson Bourne survey of 100 IT directors.

Worryingly, just a quarter of companies are using automated systems to track IT performance, with the rest relying on manual methods such as spreadsheets.

The research suggests that those working in IT need to do more of a self promotion job to help change cultural perceptions and overcome resistance. "IT departments need to be more positive about how they can contribute to business success," Ridgway concluded.

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