Jan 9, 2012

A rising role for IT: McKinsey Global Survey results

Mckinsey released their global survey results, I'm gonna share with you some excerpts:

The online survey was in the field  from October 4 to October 14,  2011, and generated responses  from 927 executives. Of  these respondents, 488 have  a technology focus, and  the other 439 represent other  functional specialties. The  respondents represent the full  range of industries, regions,  company sizes, and tenures.

Aspirations and current expectations for IT have never been higher. Executives  continue to set exacting demands for IT support of business processes, and they see an even  larger role for IT in a competitive environment increasingly shaken up by technology disruptions. (...) Looking ahead, executives expect  IT to create new platforms to support innovation and growth, help guide strategy with data  and advanced analytics, and stay on top of possible new roles for mobile devices. For IT  leaders, the good news is that along with these higher expectations, most respondents also see  a greater willingness to spend more on IT.

Meeting expectation
Among respondents to this survey, the highest current priorities for IT mirror those of previous surveys:  improving the effectiveness and efficiency of business processes and  reducing IT cost. (...)

Higher budgets, changing priorities
Perhaps due to a combination of rising faith in IT, the realization of competitive challenges  ahead, and a more positive business outlook, more respondents expect their organizations  to increase spending in 2012. (...)

More data to support decisions
Executives say their companies still rely upon a mix of data and experience in decision  making, although they are increasingly looking to analytics tools for support. 

New platforms on the move
Both IT and non-IT executives say their organizations are beginning to take advantage of  new platforms to further innovation: data and analytics, social Internet technologies (those  known as Web 2.0), social media platforms (such as Facebook and Twitter), embedded  computing, and cloud computing (Exhibit 4). Such platforms can be used to meet a variety of  goals, including better customer and partner engagement and the creation of new products  and services. While most respondents indicate that these platforms have yet to be deployed at  scale, significant shares say their companies are using them in selected areas or piloting them. (...)

Mobile technologies—for example, smartphones, tablets, and sensors—are growing in  importance, according to respondents. They say their companies are using mobile  technologies and applications both internally as collaboration and efficiency tools and  externally to create stronger links with customers and business partners. Respondents in  Europe are slightly ahead of the curve in mobile-technology deployment at scale. The  region where these mobile technologies are most often deployed selectively in pockets across  the enterprise is developed Asia: respondents there lead the rest of the world by anywhere  from 10 to 20 percentage points in selective use of mobile for customer and business  partner engagement.

IT in the boardroom
As technology becomes a more important factor in reshaping industries, survey respondents  say their organizations’ boards of directors should play a more active role in deciding  how technology is incorporated into overall strategy. Respondents say that the  most important technology-related discussions at their board meetings revolve around  approval or review of very large IT projects; but ideally, they say, discussions should address forward-looking assessments of technology trends.

Looking ahead

Many executives indicate their companies are struggling with the substantial technical  challenges of increasing their use of data and analytics. In our experience, some of the  toughest challenges are creating a “single source” of truth, consolidating data architectures,  and developing analytic tools and skills. But critical as these challenges are, successful  rollouts often require a softer element—attention to the cultural changes to encourage  increased reliance on data for decision making as well as the training required to help leaders at all levels incorporate analytics into regular practice.

According to respondents, 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, welldefined business cases that include clear stage gates and metrics for holding business and  IT leaders accountable.

New technology platforms and capabilities are clearly creating new opportunities at many  different levels within organizations. We often see business executives experimenting  with these platforms outside of IT’s awareness or permission. Given the proliferation and potential importance of these platforms, IT executives must shift from being gatekeepers  to being enablers and service managers—guiding, supporting, and assisting their colleagues in  these experiments to ensure that corporate policies, data security, or risk guidelines are not endangered.

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