Ivanti Survey Reveals Tension in IT Departments between “Keeping the Lights On” and Innovation

Research Conducted by IDG Connect Finds that Maintaining Critical Infrastructure and IT Systems is the Most Cited Expectation for IT (56%) well over Supporting New Digital Business Initiatives (33%).

Ivanti, the company that unifies IT to better manage and secure the digital workplace, today announced survey findings that show that IT leaders in companies across the U.S., Europe and Middle East are caught up in a balancing act where everyday tasks, such as maintaining strong operations, are outweighing more creative projects, such as leading innovation and supporting new digital business initiatives. This is according to a new survey carried out by IDG Connect, and commissioned by Ivanti.

The survey, “The CIO’s Conundrum: Can IT Move from ‘Keep the Lights On’ to Creative Thinking?” which was based on the responses of over 300 IT decision makers, discovered a tension whereby tasks such as supporting business processes, lowering IT spend and taking responsibility for corporate governance and regulatory compliance are taking precedence over creativity.

“It’s not over-dramatising matters to argue that enterprises today face an existential crisis: innovate or die,” said Matthew Smith, President, Demand Generation at IDG Communications. “As globalisation and digital-native start-ups threaten incumbents, smart companies need to liberate their CIOs to think ahead of the curve rather than obsess over day-to-day operations. But today IT is all too often still regarded as a support function or information leaders are too stretched to drive competitive differentiation.”

The IDG survey found that maintaining critical infrastructure and IT systems was the most cited expectation for more than half (56%) of respondents. After that, the most cited expectations were lowering IT spend (50%) and supporting more agile business processes (41%). The least cited expectations were enabling executive leadership’s strategic innovation (28%) and training staff on IT security (23%).

When asked how their IT teams spent most of their time, respondents most cited security initiatives (52%), implementing new technologies/processes (52%), maintaining and updating applications/systems (42%) and acquiring the right talent (38%). Asked about investment plans over the next two years, 53% said there would be more money allocated for new cloud and infrastructure while 46% expect increased budget for data analytics and 39% expect to invest in maintaining/modernising existing infrastructure and services.
“Progressive CIOs want to innovate! Currently, the day to day operations or ‘keeping the lights on’ demands the lion’s share of the IT budget, while only a fraction is currently dedicated to driving innovation,” said Duane Newman, Vice President, Product Management and Marketing at Ivanti. “IT can’t let the operations ball drop. When companies provide 5% or 10% more time on innovation and creativity, they quickly reap benefits and deliver true digital competitive advantages for their business.”

To read more about the survey please click here.

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