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Role Of IT Will Shift From Tools Of Efficiency To Engines Of Growth: Survey

Juniper Networks, a network innovation service provider, and the Economist Intelligence Unit released findings from a recent global survey, which revealed that over half of businesses surveyed primarily rely on IT departments to increase efficiency of their operations. But IT is largely falling short of expectations to drive business growth in new areas. The survey of 474 respondents spanned Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the United States. Fifty-one percent of respondents are C-level and board members and the remaining are senior executives and managers.

The survey showed, that of all respondents, the highest-performing companies – those who report their financial performance is stronger than their industry peers – identify a different role for IT in key areas of their business. Compared to their peers, 20 percent more of the high-performing companies say technology played a very strong role in their organisation's financial performance.

Eleven percent more of the high-performing companies strongly agree that the IT function can support business growth by identifying new market opportunities. Eight percent more of the high-performing companies say the IT function is very closely involved in helping develop new products and services.

Today, businesses are rushing to keep up with exponential data growth and meet fast-changing market needs for digital services. Financial institutions are delivering mobile banking applications while gaming companies are rebuilding their game catalogues as online services. As companies rush to deliver these new services, IT has an opportunity to play a role advancing these new business initiatives. While most IT departments are not yet widely seen driving business growth, the companies surveyed predict the role of IT will begin shifting from tools of efficiency to engines of growth. Sixty percent of respondents report IT will be very closely or somewhat closely involved in helping to develop new products or services for the company over the next three years. Importantly, survey respondents predicted the top technology trend that would impact the competitiveness of their business was collaboration and information sharing through networks.

Additional Key Findings Include

  • Global respondents predict the top technology investments over the next three years will be business information analysis (33 percent), followed by business process management (31 percent), cloud computing/virtualisation (29 percent) and mobile devices (26 percent).
  • Respondents report the top technology trends influencing the competitiveness of their organisation over the next three years include collaboration and information sharing through networks (31 percent), the widespread availability of mobile devices (31 percent), and the ubiquitous nature of connected devices and integrated systems (27 percent).

Disruptive Technologies

  • As the platform diversifies into new businesses such as online music and movie downloads, Juniper’s technology directly contributes to profitability by providing the lowest overall total cost of ownership. This is made possible by enabling the same high-performance network with fewer devices, lower power consumption and less rack space in the datacentre.

“We must embrace disruptive technologies such as cloud and mobile that are propelling business growth to create an opportunity for IT to step out of a support function into a more strategic role. By creating new products and services and identifying new market opportunities, IT can truly transform and technologically enable the business,” said Bask Iyer, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Juniper Networks.

“Businesses still view the IT function in the traditional role of improving process efficiency. However, to really take advantage of an increasingly digitised world, companies need to recognise the potential value of IT as a collaborative partner in identifying new opportunities,” said Rozina Ali, Deputy E-ditor, Economist Intelligence Unit.

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Updated Date: Feb 02, 2017 23:53:38 IST