European companies have stated that piloting IT projects is a great idea, but less than one in five UK companies can find the budget to put them into practice.
Although 83 per cent of the 400 European respondents to a survey said that they derive value from IT pilots, only 17 per cent in the UK can find the budget to deploy them, according to research commissioned by Intel's professional services organisation, Intel Solution Services.
UK IT executives see pilots as key to uncovering potential problems and reducing risk, and companies with experience of implementing pilots are more positive about the benefits.
The research found that 88 per cent of IT executives in the UK had experienced significant barriers to implementing pilots, blaming pressure on IT departments and budgetary constraints.
Jo Watson, EMEA business manager at Intel Solution Services, warned that, by failing to secure budget and time for pilots of new technology in the short term, UK IT executives are increasing the risk of problems and extra costs in the long term.
"The perception is that pilots add time to projects but, by looking at the risks upfront, you're bringing cost savings back to business in the mid to long term," she said.
But a 'lack of support from the board' is low on the list of potential impediments to piloting, although UK boards are significantly less supportive than their French counterparts.
"This attitude suggests that boards are supportive of initiatives that will increase the return on investment on new technology. It is up to IT departments to allocate their budget in a way that best supports their IT objectives," said Watson.
Clive Longbottom, head of research at Quocirca, explained that a rapid, thorough pilot programme allows IT directors to assess the impact of a technology while ensuring that they remain ahead of the game.
"For every £1 spent in piloting, up to £1,000 can be saved through correcting poor implementations at a later date," he said.
"If companies spend too long trialling their solutions there is the danger that they will lose the business advantage that comes from introducing a new technology before competitors."
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