Large UK companies are overly cautious and introspective in their attitude to IT, a newly published survey has concluded.
"The findings suggest companies focus on applying IT to their internal processes and perhaps invest less than they should in generating competitive information," commented Pamela Pipe, marketing development manager at Information Builders, the software house which commissioned the survey.
The IT Impact Survey, carried out by Benchmark Research, questioned directors, senior managers and IT managers from over 100 UK corporates.
Using IT to competitive advantage does not figure on most UK companies' lists of technology aims. Most (86%) see the main thrust of IT as improving efficiency in business processes and improving information quality.
On the plus side, the survey found that most companies are positive about the impact IT has on their business. Of those questioned, 17% said the expense of IT is a drawback, while 14% said IT places no inhibitions on business performance. Only 5% cited the need for training.
Over the next year to two years, the integration of key applications is likely to draw the greatest amount of IT investment by British firms.
Behind that comes application software replacement (61%) and increasing information flows (60%). New application implementation and IT process redesign were identified as IT priorities by 49%.
The survey also found a marked lack of brand awareness outside the IT department. Over half of senior managers could not name a single software supplier, and those who could overwhelmingly came up with Microsoft and Lotus.
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