IT directors should be wary of benchmarking and rigorously following so-called best practices as innovation could be sacrificed as a result, the head of the National Computing Centre (NCC) warned last week.
NCC chief Michael Gough said firms should look to technology to create innovation and should do more development in-house, rather than copying others.
"I'm not an advocate of benchmarking," he told vnunet.com's sister magazine IT Week. "By all means look, but don't treat it as a ladder to climb. By the time you've reached the top level, it's moved on."
Gough said IT leaders should follow a new agenda, which would rely less on outsourcing and bring application development back in-house.
He argued that by developing their own systems, companies can gain more control and a greater level of adaptability, enabling them to respond more quickly to changes and market requirements.
Gough added that supplier relationships also needed rethinking, especially with outsourcing growing in popularity.
"Vendors don't understand the business or have the right attitude," he said.
"There's a huge chasm between what companies want from their IT and what they can get. It's making organisations slow to respond to market demand."
And Gough warned that outsourcing has led to organisations becoming more dependent on suppliers for their IT, which could undermine competitiveness.
"We're in danger of having our innovations driven only by vendors and not by internal teams," he said. "Outsourcing is a management theory that hasn't necessarily proved itself."
The NCC has more than 1,000 member organisations, including blue-chip corporations, government bodies and universities.
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