Taking control of technology


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Having traditionally been reliant on the IT department for all their technology needs, business units are now taking more control for themselves. To find out why, and how, the Economist Intelligence Unit surveyed 271 executives and senior managers from across the business, and conducted in-depth interview with high profile business leaders and experts. The results of the survey are summarised below. For more information about the survey, and to read in-depth reports analysing the results, visit: http://www.economistinsights.com/technology-innovation/analysis/taking-control-technology

Published in: Technology, Business

Taking control of technology

  1. 1. Why business units are taking control over technology and what it means for the IT department SPONSORED BY
  2. 2. We’ve heard a lot of talk about “shadow IT” and how business units are going behind the IT department’s back to buy technology themselves. But we wanted to find out how and why business units are really taking control over technology, and what it means for the IT department.
  3. 3. To find out, we surveyed 272 senior business managers from five departments: HR, finance, customer service, sales, marketing and IT. We also conducted in-depth interviews for qualitative insights. Here’s what we found…
  4. 4. Mobile and cloud are changing the way business units work 58% 48% 43% 41% 39% 38% 31% 27% 21% Mobile technology Cloud computing E-commerce Social media Big data Digital marketing Software as a service Web publishing Internet of things QUESTION Which of the following technologies, if any, are changing the way your business unit works?
  5. 5. Mobile technology is driving organisational flexibility “Mobile capabilities ensure that marketing isn’t restricted to one location, so we have more flexibility in how marketing works in different regions, and also in how we can travel and communicate, as a team, across locations.” Adrienne Liebenberg, global marketing director
  6. 6. 25% 22% 20% 16% 23% 61% 60% 58% 53% 44% Marketing Finance Sales HR Customer service Agree Strongly Agree Meanwhile, employees are becoming more tech savvy "The technology expertise among staff in my business unit is growing" Especially marketers
  7. 7. The growing tech-savvy is changing the way workers view technology “Technology has become more fun and more enjoyable than it has in the past, and also more personally relevant than it used to be. So I think the technology expertise of our staff is driving a greater control of, or interest in, technology as a solution provider." Robert Cornella, finance director, The Coca-Cola Company, Germany
  8. 8. As a result, business units expect to have more control over technology in future QUESTION How do you expect the way in which technology decisions that affect your business unit are made will change in the next two to three years? Sales tops the list 29% 32% 18% 20% 23% 52% 36% 49% 35% 31% Sales Finance Customer service HR Marketing My business unit will have slightly more influence My business unit will have significantly more influence
  9. 9. In general, they are confident of their ability to manage technology themselves QUESTION How confident are you in your business unit’s ability to manage technology? 38% 31% 30% 36% 39% 48% 54% 48% 39% 29% Finance Customer service Sales Marketing HR Very confident Somewhat confidentFinance is most confident
  10. 10. Having more influence will improve ROI and give faster access to technology… QUESTION What, if any, do you believe are the benefits of your business unit having more control over technology? 42% 42% 41% 39% 34% 32% 31% 21% Better return on technology investments Faster access to technology Technology more likely to meet our needs Improved departmental performance Reduced pressure on IT department Create a better working environment Improved ability to grasp technology- related opportunities Improved control of technology cost
  11. 11. …but may also lead to more work for business units and poor data integration QUESTION What, if any, do you believe are the benefits of your business unit having more control over technology? 44% 42% 40% 39% 36% 33% 29% 24% Increased workload Poor integration of departmental applications with existing systems Deterioration of data quality Information security put at risk Higher risk of technology failure Inferior technology services Higher technology cost Worse return on technology investments
  12. 12. What does this all mean for the IT department?
  13. 13. Most business leaders believe that their IT department can give their divisions what they need 28% 14% 22% 25% 22% 32% 54% 59% 48% 44% 44% 46% Customer service HR Sales Marketing Finance IT Agree Strongly Agree "The technology expertise among staff in my business unit is growing" IT leaders think so too
  14. 14. 18% 6% 8% 13% 6% 6% 35% 42% 38% 23% 22% 26% HR Sales Finance CS Marketing IT Agree Strongly Agree One in three IT leaders agree But some believe it is easier for them to buy technology directly from suppliers "It is easier for my business unit to buy technology directly from suppliers than through the IT department"
  15. 15. That is partly due to cloud computing “I recall the days when getting anything implemented that went even remotely near IT infrastructure meant that systems request forms needed to be completed, assessments carried out, and business analysts assigned. Now, while it’s still important that we take digital security seriously and follow certain protocols, cloud deployment is much quicker, and it is making us more efficient and productive” Adrienne Liebenberg, global marketing director
  16. 16. And many think consumer technology is better than what IT can provide "Consumer technology provides better functionality than the IT department can provide" 15% 18% 17% 8% 16% 16% 44% 32% 31% 40% 20% 32% Customer service Sales Marketing Finance HR IT Agree Strongly Agree
  17. 17. Nevertheless, 50% of respondents see value in collaborating with IT QUESTION Which of the following do you think would help your business unit manage technology better? 50% 47% 46% 46% 39% 39% Improving collaboration with the IT department Staff training Appointing technology specialists within the business unit Devising a departmental technology strategy Giving responsibility for technology back to the IT department Hiring people with technology experience for non-specialist roles
  18. 18. 25% 31% 22% 18% 24% 36% 56% 46% 54% 51% 44% 44% Marketing Customer service Finance HR Sales IT Agree Strongly Agree And most see that collaboration improving "Collaboration between the IT department and other business units is improving"
  19. 19. There is some work that business units see as the sole responsibility of the IT department “Without integration and standards, you’ve got a big problem. You want everyone to know where to find data and to know that it’s the same data as their colleagues can see—but we’ll leave the deeper technical analysis of how that can be achieved to our colleagues in the IT department.” Matteo Battaini, vice president of global marketing
  20. 20. New forms of collaboration will therefore prove crucial. At Pirelli, Mr Battaini has set up teams of specialists from sales and marketing and IT to work together on technology projects. “A rich mixture of expertise is needed to create an organisation that can really get the most out of newer sales and marketing technologies”
  21. 21. For more information, visit: http://www.economistinsights.com/technology- innovation/analysis/taking-control-technology/