Disconnect Exists between Companies and their IT Departments

April 26, 2013

As technological advances such as cloud computing and mobile solutions continue to add complexity to business operations, workers with IT jobs have taken on an increased role in shaping their companies' futures. But according to recent research, there's a noticeable disconnect between the average company and its tech department, both ideologically and in terms of budgeting.

A new study from Kovarus revealed that only 28% of businesses' IT decision-makers properly prioritize their spending for their companies' overall needs. The other 72 percent favored a more traditional approach to spending, allocating funds toward fixing issues currently at hand and directly reducing expenses. In other words, the focus for most is less on long-term innovation and more on quick fixes.

Andy Lewis, chief information officer of Kovarus, says IT officials must pay close attention to the needs of their companies.

"Our research shows a clear divide between the needs of the business and the business' perceived capability of the IT department to satisfy those needs," Lewis said. "The business units are making somewhat independent decisions to source their IT services without a true understanding of the true value that their IT departments have to offer."

IT World recently outlined a few ways in which corporate IT departments lose their focus.

Poor leadership
Often, the problem is companies don't have the right people in charge of their IT personnel. Leaders who are unprepared to manage large staffs with multiple responsibilities can become overwhelmed, leading them to lose sight of their companies' overall needs.

Budgeting difficulties
Because IT officials have a wide range of responsibilities and a limited amount of funding, they're sometimes not able to dedicate as much money to an initiative as they'd like. They end up cutting corners, which can be a detriment to their companies at large.

According to John Wyss, director for product management at Intuit, the over-delegation of work tasks can be "poison" for teams working on IT initiatives against considerable constraints. Officials need to trust their personnel to work independently.

Overall, the biggest adjustment that IT officials must make is learning to look at the big picture regarding the futures of their companies. According to Kovarus' research, only 18 percent of tech personnel "took a holistic view" on their IT spending. If tech companies are to be best served going forward, that figure must change. Business and IT should work together in concert, not against one another.