Biggest Risk For Enterprise IT Is IT Itself

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Demands of digital have put enormous pressure on enterprises. Majority of this onus, naturally, falls with Enterprise IT. From all CxO roles, it’s CIOs and CDOs who feel this pressure the most and are expected to deliver digital for their enterprise. We, at Greyhound Research, speak to business and technology leaders on regular basis and often times the conversations drift towards external pressures and an enormous amount of dynamics that enterprise IT has to counter in order to deliver.

However, a stark reality also stares in the face of IT on daily basis – of their house not being in order. The truth is, many internal IT processes and systems continue to remain broken despite all efforts and investments. IT fights a daily battle with basic internal processes, getting stuck in administrative and mundane tasks.

Per a recent Greyhound Research study titled, Global CIO Priorities 2018, 73% enterprises (we interviewed 1,157 large enterprises globally) agreed to be still battling basic tasks such as a password reset or technology troubleshooting or document access or asset allocation, that is usually fraught with manual effort, overheads and delays.

Greyhound Research believes this is a huge risk that enterprises carry when they have to rely on such a structure to deliver externally resilient systems and processes to business. When the talk of the town is to implement AI or machine learning for an intelligent response or resolution to a customer situation, it is concerning that basic tasks continue to consume in range of 50-90% (per Greyhound Research estimates) of an IT team’s time.

Clearly, this is a symptom of a bigger issue and impacts the enterprise performance in several ways:

State of enterprise IT reflects on technology leadership and trust with business. IT cannot build the mutual trust needed for strategic partnership with business with such ongoing issues.

Dissipation of energy in BAU (Business-as-usual) impacts capacity for innovation. The expectation from enterprises today is to build innovative technology-driven products and services. When a significant amount of IT capacity is wasted in overcoming the basic IT issues, it doesn’t leave time and energy for creative, innovative and lateral thinking.

Broken internal processes directly impact the SLAs, productivity and customer experience. Customer relations and customer service teams want to focus on delivering to customers. They still spend a significant amount of their working time dealing with issues related to accessibility of information or administrative tasks or just waiting.

Some of the best technology talent remains locked in firefighting to keep the lights on. This is a significantly critical impact of internal disorder. As much as technology leaders want to focus on business expansion and growth, they are forced to keep their best talent still lodged in ensuring BAU and overcoming daily challenges arising out of broken systems and processes. Part of the reason for this is high visibility of some of these basic activities as they impact almost every employee of the organization across levels.

Based on our ongoing conversations with technology leaders across the industry, we believe the issue described above is not a blind spot for enterprises. The problem is known since it pinches on a daily basis. However, these internal broken processes and systems do not get the attention they deserve. While we talk about all the external factors driving CIO and CDO priorities, it’s about time we address the elephant in the room. The biggest risk for enterprise IT is IT itself.

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Sanchit Vir Gogia: Sanchit is the Chief Analyst, Founder & CEO of Greyhound Research, an award-winning global research & advisory firm. To read more about him, click here.

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