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A rising role for IT?

Some interesting research just came out from McKinsey about the rising role of IT in their sixth annual technology survey.

Among their key findings is:

“Business executives continue to ask IT to create more value by enabling business processes with technology, which is driving a significant amount of increased investment. In our experience, success in these efforts requires creating solid, well-defined business cases that include clear stage gates and metrics for holding business and IT leaders accountable.”

IT Priorities: Is There a Mismatch?

Interestingly, there is a difference in mindset between IT leaders and other executives in terms of their focus on IT priorities.  IT leaders cite “reducing IT costs” as their #1 priority, whereas non-IT executives believe the focus should be more on improving the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes, providing better information to managers, and creating new products and services. In fact, IT cost reduction only shows up at #5 on the list of priorities for non-IT executives.

IT Budgets Going Up

Budgets also look to be on the increase in 2012, both for operating expenses as well as for new investments. Around 58% of companies are citing an increased budget for new investments, with 17% saying it will stay the same, and 17% reporting a decrease.

Boards Need More IT Strategy, Less Cost Focus

There’s also a wake-up call for directors. Both IT and non-IT executives believe the board is too focused on approving or reviewing large IT projects (i.e. a strong risk management perspective) and not enough on a pro-active discussion of how technology and IT can/will transform the industry and your specific business.

This is an important message. It’s not enough just to avoid mistakes – it’s important to make the right decisions and take action. You can do nothing and make no mistakes, but you’ll miss out on key opportunities and get left behind by your competitors who take advantage of appropriate technology.

Your perspective?

What’s in store for your organization in 2012? Can you relate to the above findings from McKinsey’s research? How is your business planning to take advantage of relevant software and other technology to improve your performance?