Avanade, a global business technology solutions and managed services provider, has released results from a large-scale global survey on the changing role of IT. The research shows technology budgets and decision-making migrating away from IT departments, and IT taking on new roles in the enterprise. Thirty-eight percent of Canadian technology spending (37 percent globally) now happens outside of IT, because the vast majority of business leaders – 67 percent of Canadian C-level executives (79 percent globally) – believe they can make better and faster decisions without the involvement of IT.
With these shifting budgets and loss of control, the global study of 1,003 business and IT leaders shows a new “services broker” model for IT taking hold. In this model, IT staff consult with departments across the business to better understand their technology needs and objectives, and source internal or external IT services or partners to meet these demands. Twenty-nine percent (35 percent globally) of Canadian companies’ IT departments act primarily as services brokers today. Avanade’s research shows that among companies whose IT departments are structured this way, 58 percent globally report they will expand the role of IT services brokers in the next 12 months. Additionally, 68 percent of companies in Canada and globally report their IT department is contributing more to accomplishing business objectives than they did three years ago.
Even with these changes, time spent managing the same old legacy systems continues to distract the agenda for IT staff – 34 percent of Canadian IT staff’s time (36 percent globally) is spent managing and maintaining legacy systems. This leads to a situation known as “two-speed IT” where IT staff must balance the support of legacy systems with the need to continuously innovate in order to stay ahead of the competition.
“There is tension between IT leaders and C-Suite executives as control over IT budgets become less centralized and the roles and expectations from IT staff evolve,” said Dean Olmstead, Avanade corporate vice president, Canada Operating Unit. “We believe that IT has an unprecedented opportunity to be involved in decision-making and take on a business advisory role. Canadian companies have the opportunity to take advantage of this new reality and position IT staff as services brokers to better contribute to business objectives.”
Avanade surveyed 1,003 C-level executives, business unit leaders and IT decision-makers in 19 countries for the study.