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Tensions rise between IT and business leaders: Avanade

Tensions rise between IT and business leaders: Avanade 

According a new Avanade survey, which polled 1,003 business leaders across 19 countries, 67 per cent of Canadian C-level executives believe they’re able to make better decisions without the input of IT.

“They think IT isn’t really up to date on what’s out there in the marketplace,” said Dean Olmstead, corporate VP, Avanade. “IT is focused on maintaining current systems, not on what’s going on out in the larger world. IT can’t always have a full picture of all that’s out there…but [executives] trust IT to help in maintaining new technologies.”

Additionally, 89 per cent of respondents indicated that they felt comfortable with letting IT interact as consultants with partners and clients.

The survey also found that 29 per cent of Canadian companies’ IT departments currently act as service brokers, compared with 35 per cent globally. Of those global respondents, 58 per cent said they would continue to expand IT’s role as service broker over the course of the coming year.

But what is the reason for this shift? Advancements in technology have a lot to do with it – they’ve created pressure on businesses to deliver more, and faster. Executives no longer feel they have the time to spare for long consultations with IT, and they want to innovate faster than IT can keep up.

“Companies need to change much faster than they have been, especially around the use of technology,” said Olmstead. “If companies don’t change, they’ll potentially go out of business. The way consumers can shift so quickly away from one company to another can create a dire situation for some companies.”

The shift from decision-maker to service broker has caused some tension between IT and executives. But Olmstead says IT can help mitigate this tension by acknowledging that business controls funding. He also cited cases where businesses outsourced legacy operations so that IT could focus on innovation and new technologies.

“IT is relevant. It’s helping with the decisions,” said Olmstead. “But for IT to be successful in the future, they need to be business partners and promote innovation, even if they’re not always providing that innovation.”

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