For the second year running, aligning IT goals with those of the corporation has topped the critical issues list for European IT executives.
The managers were questioned in consultancy CSC Index' annual survey of European IS executives. According to John Cooper, European vice president at CSC, the survey - carried out among top IT professionals at leading manufacturers and service providers - throws up fresh evidence that European organisations are falling behind their US and Asian counterparts in exploiting IT for global business advantage.
?Industry figures like Bill Gates and Andy Grove have recently pointed to Europe?s widening 'technology deficit'," he said. ?European IS executives recognise the urgency of the need to make IT the driver of their companies? plans for long term growth.?
70 per cent of those surveyed selected ?aligning IS and corporate goals? as a principal concern. While further down the tree, ?organising and utilising data? and ?instituting cross-functional systems? were each named as top five issues by 65 per cent of the vote. Also in the top five list of concerns were ?cutting IS costs? and ?connecting to customers, suppliers and/or partners electronically? - each picked out by 56 per cent of respondents.
While other issues have been high on the list of IS concerns for a number of years, ?connecting to customers, suppliers and/or partners electronically" has climbed swiftly from near the bottom of the pack just a few years ago.
According to Cooper, European firms are a lot slower than their US competitors in setting up electronic links to the outside world. Evidence from the survey showed that while 36 per cent of respondents were building electronic links internally, just 12 per cent were involved in constructing inter-company information networks.
In terms of specific technologies, network-related technologies - such as the Internet, network security, groupware, electronic commerce and broadband networks - rated highly on respondents? lists of critical emerging technologies.
The report also found evidence of growth in the implementation of enterprise solutions, continued strong support for outsourcing, as well as evidence of increased job security for chief information officers and a slight increase in overall IS budgets.
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