Mid-sized businesses yet to deliver IT-driven transformation

More than half of mid-sized firms have yet to achieve IT-driven transformation to power Britain’s economic recovery.

According to its survey, the Calyx Business Transformation Index, 56 per cent of IT directors say their organisation is planning, executing, or has executed, a transformation programme, but 33 per cent revealed they were making only incremental changes.

The biggest challenge in pursuing transformation for mid-sized organisations is tying strategic overhaul of the business operations to changing corporate objectives, identified by 42 per cent of interviewees. 

Almost two-thirds (65 per cent) of interviewees think that the recession has curbed their ability to innovate.

The survey interviewees see migration of services into the Cloud as inevitable but opinion was divided on the merits of collaboration and BYO (Bring Your Own) device strategies had not gained anything like the expected traction with mid-size organisations.  

Calyx’ Business Transformation Index also identified five stages of transformation among the respondents, ranging from those that are barely planning fundamental change to fully ‘transformed’ organisations. 

However, only six of the 100 organisations interviewed made the Index’ top category  in which the organisation was successfully executing transformation plans.

“Calyx’ Business Transformation Index aims to understand the extent to which UK businesses are part of the agile, information and web-centric businesses shaping the global economy,“ said Calyx chief executive Martin Mackay.

“We wanted to see if British organisations were joining, or ready to join, the very smartest  firms that are habitually using dynamic IT infrastructures that enable workers to interact and collaborate securely and easily, whether within the enterprises or with their customers, partners and suppliers.”

More than 100 CIOs in mid-range organisations - across the retail, business services, professional services, financial services, transport and third sectors - were surveyed by independent market research company Vanson Bourne in October. 

Other findings included:

• Three quarters (74 per cent) of interviewees regard IT as central to business transformation

• Over one third (37 per cent) has specific and measurable transformation objectives, 37 per cent have broad objectives but nothing specific, while 26 per cent has either no specific transformation objectives or no plans at all

• Asked to name the top three innovations for transforming operations, nearly three quarters (72 per cent) said either Managed Services or Software-as-a-Service, while 60 per cent named virtualisation and 53 per cent nominated Cloud Computing; only 6 per cent of those interviewed stated that BYO is one of the top three areas which could transform their business operations

• A clear majority – 58 per cent – of IT decision-makers thought that 50 per cent or more of operations will move into the Cloud and nearly one third (31 per cent) said they have already adopted some Cloud-based processes

• A majority of IT directors (60 per cent) said the biggest issue surrounding Cloud Computing’s adoption was security

• Over half (58 per cent) said that failed IT projects had sometimes or occasionally  undermined transformation’s promise but 33 per cent were unconcerned by previous experiences of corporate IT failure

When interviewees’ responses were categorised into five groups under Calyx’ Business Transformation Index, to illustrate their progress on the ‘transformation journey’, 16 were classed as IT laggards, failing to even address transformation issue effectively; another 25 were failing to put together coherent strategic change plans; another 32 had identified change but yet to execute plans; another 21 were starting to execute their transformation plans, but only six organisations showed full transformation characteristics.

“The Index shows that whilst many UK mid-range organisations are considering transformation plans, the majority is still struggling to deliver full ICT-driven transformation,” said Calyx chief executive Martin Mackay.

“Britain’s mid-size enterprises are going to be at the heart of economic recovery and need to pursue a clear strategic change agenda if they are going to compete successfully.

“The Index’ good news is that UK CIOs clearly recognise the massive potential for innovations like managed services, Cloud Computing, and BYO device strategies to change their organisations’ capabilities. 

“In particular, there is a refreshing lack of workplace cynicism over any previous corporate IT failures, a strong sign that change enabled by technology innovation is becoming embedded in the culture of our mid-range organisations.”

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