Two-thirds of organisations bypass IT when buying new technologies, says study

Digital transformation efforts are hindered by lack of collaboration between IT and business, says a new survey by EIU sponsored by BMC software.

Two-thirds of private and public-sector organisations in a survey (66%) say they buy new systems and solutions without involving IT teams—a situation that flies in the face of IT’s traditional role as a gatekeeper of new technologies. Funnily enough, 43% of firms still hold IT accountable if something goes wrong with digital transformation initiatives.

According to the survey, ‘From gatekeeper to enabler: the role of IT when digital transformation is the norm’, there are multiple reasons for this trend, the most common (37%) was that the procurement process just takes too long, IT decisions not being flexible enough followed in second place at 30%.

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“Digital technologies are trivial to purchase,” commented Emer Coleman, technology engagement director for Co-op Digital. “Why would you go through all the pain of procurement? Digital makes it possible for departments to say, ‘We’ll just pay for it.’”

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2018

What’s more concerning, 31% of respondents from non-IT functions say IT decisions are not aligned with their digital transformation goals.

Non-IT teams tend to be prioritising revenue growth and reducing costs, while IT teams typically prioritise integration within existing systems and overall security.

Source: The Economist Intelligence Unit Limited 2018

The lack of collaboration appears counterintuitive, a collaboration between IT and non-IT teams has generally been perceived as a positive. Notably, businesses that encourage collaboration in this area are significantly more confident about overcoming digital transformation challenges. The study found that 89% of collaborators say they are confident about overcoming obstacles compared with 55% of non-collaborators.

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Kevin Plumberg, the editor of the report, says: “Digital transformation is not a one-off, unique journey that some organisations are experimenting with. It has become the norm, and companies, where IT teams are working closely with the business rather than in silos, are better positioned to manage the challenges that inevitably arise.”

The report is based on a survey conducted in May 2018. The EIU surveyed 303 senior executives and administrators from organisations headquartered in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America.



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Andrew Ross

As a reporter with Information Age, Andrew Ross writes articles for technology leaders; helping them manage business critical issues both for today and in the future