Business execs: Enterprise IT isn't innovative, slightly delusional

IT execs think they're swell when it comes to innovation. Business execs see it differently.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

The bulk of business managers and senior executives see their corporate information technology departments more as obstacles to innovation instead of enablers, according to a Forrester Research survey.

Forrester's survey of executives screams business alignment. To wit:

  • There's a major perception gap between business managers and corporate IT. Forrester found a 25 percentage point difference between how business execs rated IT's ability to deliver projects on time and on budget vs how IT execs graded themselves.
  • 39 percent of respondents thought IT delivers projects well.
  • R&D and marketing give corporate IT a big fail on innovation.
  • The percentage of firms with business units owning IT has doubled.

Here's the disconnect between the business and IT exec ratings. It's a convoluted chart, but the short version is that corporate IT can manage costs ok, but little else. For all the enterprise therapy sessions about business alignment there's not a lot of movement.

Sure there's collaboration between the business and IT on back office (46 percent said there was cooperation), but sales and marketing, R&D and product engineering lagged big time. Thirty three percent of sales and marketing execs said IT collaborates with them and 28 percent of R&D and product engineering considered corporate IT a partner. In other words, the stuff attached to revenue sees corporate IT as a barrier.

The Forrester survey points to an IT buying reality: There are more executives calling the shots on technology.

Other takeaways:

  • Senior managers are driving mobile adoption.
  • Business unit execs hire their own IT staff and services. Thirty seven percent of business execs say they will hire more IT staff this year.
  • SaaS is popular with business executives.
  • Mobile apps, business process tools, smartphones and tablets and analytics are the top goals.

Add it up and it's clear that we're going to see more business alignment therapy sessions ahead.

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