Business sees IT as too slow, inflexible

IT managers are struggling with negative business perceptions that IT is too slow and inflexible to support a fast-moving and changing environment, according to IDC storage research director Graham Penn.

The poor perceptions have led business executives to believe IT is too slow to support and implement business processes and too inflexible to adapt to change.

"We have built ourselves a stovepipe, perhaps around proprietary systems, perhaps because we've locked ourselves into a given mental state. We [IT] are not prepared to change in the way the business needs us to change or IT is too costly to be deployed in many business situations - we've been doing this for 40 years and these issues keep recurring," Penn warned.

Unless these issues are addressed, he said, IT will not be able to respond to the massive growth of data and the number of services that organizations need to deploy to be successful.

Penn said the IT industry today still suffers from the same teething problems it did 40 years ago; it is still slow and inflexible.

Speaking at IDC's Infrastructure Vision conference, Penn said IT should strive to maximize efficiency and also concentrate on ROI.

Business, he said, cannot continue to put up with two hours of downtime a day while the IT department regenerates itself.

INtep program manager Peter Hind said there has been a significant shift towards a 'user pay' IT model within organizations.

"Few organizations now provide IT infrastructure, per se, out of the bottom line," Hind said, adding that Australia has led the world in researching how to effectively charge for information service (IS) infrastructure.

"There is a view now of how business can charge this expense back to the people making the most use of their infrastructure."

Caroline Sanders, from the CIO office of the Westpac Bank, said the bank has outsourced operational infrastructure but still has the challenge of providing users with what they need.

"We need to be able to give users the infrastructure that will service their needs in a timely manner at the least cost and in a way that will not impact their future decisions," she said.

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