Insight has launched new research showing that European, Middle Eastern and African (EMEA) public service organisations have deep divisions between IT and the wider business.
This division is harming organisations’ ability to take advantage of new technologies, hindering their ability to prepare for the post-pandemic world.
Currently, only 26% of organisations give IT a seat on the board.
To bridge this gap between IT and the wider business, which would make it easier for companies to adapt and improve, organisations need to listen to IT advice. At present, 62% of companies are failing to take advantage of new technologies because they aren’t listening to IT.
“IT cannot continue to operate at arm’s length from the board: it must be given a seat at the top table,” said Emma de Sousa, President at Insight EMEA.
“The way IT is perceived and used within public services organisations has to fundamentally change. It must be put front and centre, driving organisational change, ensuring good governance, and being made directly accountable for doing so,” she continued.
IT disconnect resulting in additional costs
Research from Insight has shown 71% of companies have a disconnect between IT and the wider business and that IT tends to be treated as a utility rather than a business enabler. This disconnect becomes particularly significant as IT holds great importance in delivering an organisation’s strategic objectives.
Key findings from the research include:
- Divides have costs: The failure to engage with IT has almost certainly contributed to organisations spending an average of £2m a year on projects that don’t provide the expected benefits or fail outright.
- Skills gaps – the second divide: Organisations still need to invest in addressing skills gaps – both by investing in skills and technology needed to optimise the organisation (58%), and to support a remote workforce (also 58%).
- Pandemic has made the divide clear: While 85% of senior public services IT decision-makers believe ways of working have been permanently transformed, across the wider organisation at least 61% are reluctant to invest in projects because they believe things will return to “normal”. Ultimately, this means a stalemate in agreeing on what the organisation actually needs to invest in.
During the pandemic, IT efforts have still produced returns but the disconnect has remained. The research suggests that the disconnect between IT and the wider business has become more pronounced during the pandemic.
The research also shows IT teams are not measured against their strategic impact. It suggests investment is needed to address skills gaps and projects within organisations could be a risk due to the disconnect.
Addressing the gap to improve business performance
By addressing the disconnect, public service organisations would be able to gain real benefits. Closing the gap would allow organisations to:
- Target investment in projects the whole organisation believes in
- Manage change across the organisation more easily
- Better understand the impact of new ways of working on employees
- Ensure strategies are based on the correct assumptions.
“Closing the gap between IT and the wider organisation must be an urgent priority. This will not only help to de-risk new investments in digital services but also ensure that digital transformation initiatives meet wider organisational goals,” said de Sousa.
Importantly, if public service organisations used IT as the natural conduit to help businesses evolve and improve it will help avoid wasted investments, failed projects and demoralised employees.