Business group pushes benefits of IT

Business is still reluctant to invest in IT because vendors are not effectively demonstrating the benefits of technology and delivering ROI, according to the NSW Chamber of Commerce.

The findings are part of a report titled, Getting a Grip on IT, released by the industry body in conjunction with Unisys.

The report examines the economic barriers behind companies failing to implement a strong IT presence in business.

State chamber of commerce CEO, Margy Osmond, said despite dramatic advancements in the way we do business, many organisations still find it difficult to see what's in [IT] for them.

She said the chamber wants to find ways to present the value of IT to NSW businesses and is seeking feedback over the next six weeks for a forum to be held at the end of June. Comments should be sent to policy@thechamber.com.au.

Unisys Australia and New Zealand managing director Mike Ettling said it is partly about business not grasping ROI, but it is up to suppliers to be more effective in demonstrating the value in technology investments.

"The economic climate over the last 10 years has gone from IT directors just filling their toy boxes. For SMEs their IT structure needs to be more efficient if we are to see the adoption of technology improve," he said.

He said the report found companies looked to the IT industry to eliminate IT complexity when considering investments, supporting the view that vendors shouldn't be simply "selling solutions".

Eliminating IT complexity is now at the forefront of cost-cutting procedures in many corporations, according to IBM SMB software and channels executive Australia and New Zealand, Max McLaren.

Outdated methods and procedures, he said, can prove costly and keep investment at bay.

"The way organiZations deployed technology in the past led to the perception IT was too costly," McLaren said.

"Often vendors responded to demands with piecemeal solutions as opposed to integrated solutions which is unfortunate; often it was in their [vendors] best interests to fix issues with point solutions.

"In regard to costs and infrastructure throughout the late 90s, businesses were focused on reducing costs, which are now exhausted and a lot of cost reductions made through point systems now need to be innovative in connecting disparate systems."

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