Juniper Networks study: IT falling short of business expectations

IT departments are facing an incredible amount of pressure these days to drive business growth, but that isn't easy for those trying to deal with legacy systems and other mounting issues.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

Expectations for IT departments might be at an all-time high amid mobility and cloud trends -- but results are largely falling short, according to new research from Juniper Networks.

The new report is based upon the responses from nearly 500 IT and business executives about how they think IT works in the most financially successful companies and how businesses will predict the role of IT will change over the next few years.

The key finding is that the majority of businesses today are relying on IT departments to increase efficiency and meet new digital demands as quickly as possible.

There appears to be a bit of a disconnect here. Based on the report, a lot of executives don't think that IT changes and upgrades are driving business growth -- or at least not yet.

Specifically, one in five (20 percent) of respondents argued that their IT departments are only "somewhat prepared or very unprepared" to helping improve business growth.

However, many business leaders are often unaware of the issues that IT must address before tackling new trends, such as privacy, security and budget issues when it comes to upgrading from legacy systems.

Despite all the negativity, the gap between IT and business leaders understanding of these trends could change soon.

Approximately 60 percent of respondents told researchers that their IT departments will be "very closely or somewhat closely" involved in helping to develop new products or services for the company over the next three years.

That, in turn, should help generate evidence as to how IT can contribute to business growth. Both collaboration and wider availability of mobile devices were cited as the top two drivers towards this milestone, followed by the ubiquity of connected devices and integrated systems.

For reference, Juniper commissioned business analysis firm Economist Intelligence Unit to survey 474 IT and business executives from the Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States for this study.

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