IT Departments Still Not meeting Business Expectations, Claims SMARTS

IT remains unable to deliver on the expectations of business managers, SMARTS reveals today. Announcing the findings of a survey of senior business and IT management across fifty major UK enterprises, the leading provider of real-time business management solutions highlights striking discrepancies in the perception of success regarding IT support for business.

As a clear indication of the difference of opinion that exists within UK enterprises today regarding the value of IT, nine in ten IT managers argued that they contributed heavily to the success of the business as a whole. Contrastingly, a third of business managers disagreed with this verdict.

Though business managers are almost unanimous in their view of the importance of IT across their businesses, the SMARTS research suggests that they remain to be convinced by IT departments ability to help carry a business through periods of technical performance irregularity, with many unconvinced of the IT departments ability to keep key IT services available effectively on an ongoing basis.

The confusion over what value IT brings to a business can be seen in the findings that only half (52%) of respondents actually view ITs responsiveness to change as a critical issue for the entire business.

Additional findings from the survey include:

- 56% of business managers do not feel their IT departments can help them understand and respond flexibly to system outages
- 80% of business managers believe IT service downtime needs to be reduced and that they need more up-to-the-minute information about the availability of their key IT services
- 52% of business managers view the service information provided by IT departments as unacceptable
- 42% of IT managers themselves believe that their IT service delivery could be improved
- 91% of IT managers believe they must deliver better management information on services to business managers and customers.

Our research shows that IT has become so entrenched in all aspects of todays business that many managers are genuinely afraid of system failures, explains Dason Bodilly, VP Western Europe for SMARTS. However, given the vast complexity of todays networks, hiccups are inevitable. These neednt turn into the crises they frequently become: if business managers are made aware of IT availability issues - and their impact on operations - they can take steps to ensure work goes on and minimise the cost of a service outage.

Dr Mark Lycett, head of the Fluid Business project at Brunel University argues: Fitting people round systems doesnt always lead to success. It is clear from this research that IT needs to be flexible enough for all business managers to see and realise the value IT brings. Developing a better view of an organisations IT infrastructure as a whole, the relationships between different domains and the impact of IT problems on key business services is a critical step for IT to ensure a tighter fit with their organisations business objectives. This will lead to a sustainable and positive impact on business managements opinion of IT as a whole.

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