Despite a consensus that IT innovation leads to business gains, only a third of IT staff would say that their organisation’s culture promotes effective innovation. With senior management tending to be more optimistic about their company’s ability to foster innovation than those below, there is a clear disconnect between the expectations for improvement between CIOs/IT directors and their departments. This is according to the latest research from managed services provider Claranet.
The research, which surveyed IT professionals from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux from a range of mid-market organisations, discovered that 42 per cent of IT directors believe their organisational culture supports innovation and takes risks*. However, just 30 per cent of middle management and 27 per cent for IT supervisors would agree. Similarly, while half (51 per cent) of CIOs believe that their organisation has the patience to support new ideas, only 40 per cent of intermediate management and supervisors believe that to be the case.
According to Michel Robert, Claranet’s UK managing director, the effectiveness of innovation strategies will suffer unless company stances on innovation filter through the whole of the IT department: “These results show clear differences between IT directors and less senior staff on their views on innovation within their businesses. Senior IT staff have a distinct view of their openness to innovative practices, though on the whole, it would seem that they are not the best at ensuring their IT teams feel innovation is being prioritised.
“These disparities may be down to a lack of communication and capacity to innovate, which will need to be addressed if businesses are to create a culture in which innovation can thrive and reach their full potential. If IT staff do not feel the need to innovate or, indeed, do not feel able to spend time on it, they can quite easily become stuck in the same old processes leading to the business losing traction with its competitors.
“As senior managers grapple with the idea of digital transformation and innovation, it’s important that they keep their eyes on the reality of their businesses. Working with a trusted partner can ease the load on the IT department, freeing up IT directors and their teams to successfully focus on their innovation strategies. By focusing on innovative, high value-add projects close to the business, and leaving day-to-day management to IT services providers, IT directors will more than likely deliver business success to their organisation,” Robert concluded.