Businesses turn to IT departments for strategic direction

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Businesses turn to IT departments for strategic direction

Business managers increasingly want IT staff to help steer the direction of their company, according to a new study by IDC.

The research firm examined how business managers in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK viewed the role and performance of their IT departments.

The results paint a picture of tech-happy management that is in many cases looking to IT to help make key decisions.

"While business managers are quite satisfied with their IT managers, they have clear priorities on how IT could better support their business and strategic objectives," said Angela Vacca, consulting manager for European vertical markets at IDC.

"These priorities are extremely different from vertical to vertical and seldom include cost-cutting among the top issues."

Sixty per cent of the managers surveyed want to spend more money on IT infrastructure, and managers are more interested in seeing IT satisfy company demands than increasing the department's efficiency.

Business owners are also looking to IT staff to break from a strictly supporting roll and to help determine company policy.

Seventy per cent of those surveyed said that IT managers help in the innovation of the company, and 20 per cent credit their IT departments with initiating new business strategies.

IDC put much of this focus on IT down to an increasing importance placed on technology, blurring the lines between company management and IT management.

When asked where IT departments could be improved, business managers cited the quality of support as the most common complaint.
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