The Road to Innovation is Paved With Trust

As businesses around the world look to agility and innovation as key differentiators to help distinguish them from the competition IT is now more than ever tasked with the role of enabling innovation.

With mega IT trends like Cloud, Big Data, Mobile, and Social influencing business, can we afford not to have trust in our IT?

Crisis of Confidence

The benefits transformational IT brings, i.e. through cloud adoption and Big Data analytics, to organizations across all industries have been discussed for quite some time now. The general consensus amongst experts and analysts in the IT industry is that the agility of cloud and the insights of Big Data analytics will completely overhaul the relationship between IT and business.

Businesses are now relying more than ever on a mobile workforce in order to increase agility and to get closer to customers. Remote access to an organization’s network and applications is now expected as the norm by the business to have on-the-go workforces. As this becomes the norm it’s not always apparent the level of effort required by IT to provide these on-demand services in a secure environment, and this in turn creates a divide between the business needs and IT readiness within organizations.

So what’s to stop organizations from staying on top of these mega trends and reaping the rewards? 

In short it’s ‘lack of trust’. Like most disruptions occurring across today’s major industries it is necessary for organizations to have a high level of trust in their capabilities to be able to exploit these disruptive models to their advantage. This focus on capabilities has been at the center of the recently published EMC commissioned global IT Trust Curve conducted by Vanson Bourne which examines the level of trust business decision-makers have in their IT organizations.

The study rates 16 countries and 10 industries on an IT Trust maturity curve according to the level of confidence senior executives have in IT readiness specifically around critical IT requirements such as continues availability, advanced security and integrated backup and recovery. The maturity curve model which moves from primitive IT infrastructure to more progressive strategies and advanced technologies is split into laggards, evaluators, adopters, and leaders

The low levels of trust in IT discovered by the study, with 57% of all respondents falling into the lower maturity category,  indicates a possibly diminished role IT could play in keeping businesses agile and ready to innovate. On the other hand companies which actually landed higher on the maturity curve have more than likely already implemented strategic and leading-edge technology projects such as Big Data Analytics to drive differentiation and innovative ability. These companies showed a high level of trust from executives towards IT.

How do IT organizations in these businesses achieve this level of trust ?

business decision makers vs. IT decision makers

To find out we must look at why some countries and industries achieved lower maturity levels on the IT Trust Curve. Respondents of the study indicated that lack of confidence in IT came from their belief that they had less than adequate availability, security, and backup and recovery capabilities.  The other major factors were widespread unplanneddowntime, security breaches, and data loss which were experienced by 61% of all respondents; 37% experienced downtime, 23% experienced a security breach, and 29% experienced data loss in the last 12 months. In some cases costs of security breaches on the business reached a staggering $860,273 annually. Just 50% of decision-makers surveyed consider IT to be the drivers of more resilient and secure infrastructure while IT departments did not realize the full business impact of downtime, security breaches and data loss. This paints a straightforward picture of why a business could easily lose trust in its IT readiness and capabilities.

On the other hand countries and organizations where IT proved itself as an invaluable asset in keeping data secure and available 24/7 were more likely to have implemented new IT models which transform their role from simply keeping the lights on to redirecting their time and effort towards business enablement and innovation. Countries where senior executives reported higher trust in IT included China, USA, South Africa, Brazil and Australia respectively.

Industries where higher maturity levels and greater trust in IT was reported:

Industries

  • Financial Services
  • Life Sciences,
  • IT and Technology
  • Healthcare
  • Public Sector

 

These are the industries which are most likely to lead the way in deploying innovative technologies and solutions to better their position in their markets and adapt to meet the future needs of their customers.

Looking at the Middle East,  it’s very apparent that the Public Sector is leaping ahead of the pack in some countries.  For example, with the strategic direction towards mGovernment in Dubai, the IT in the different government agencies must live up to the expectations of the business to enable them deliver the quality and availability of services in a trusted and secure environment. With the mGovernment initiative progressing into high gear to provide citizens and residents of the country secure access to their cloud based services by 2015 it is apparent there is a high level of trust of the government decision-makers in their IT organizations to ensure a smooth rollout and an always-available service to the public.

Users of these mGovernment services require the highest security standards protecting their personal information as they enjoy these intuitive services which in turn reflect their trust in the government.  This is why the concept of trust is really about building a complete ecosystem and not about adoption of one solution.

The IT Trust Curve study is putting the situation into perspective.  It is clearly quantifying the benefits as well as the negative consequences of lack of investment in transformational IT infrastructure. The more the business trusts its IT capabilities, the more likely it will have the agility and flexibility to focus on their innovative and competitive strategies as it goes to market and accordingly the better the services delivered to its users and customers.

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