UK and German IT departments are significantly ahead of their US counterparts in providing IT services that directly benefit the business, according to a study by CA.
The survey polled 300 chief information officers across the UK, Germany, Australia, Japan and the US at businesses with average annual revenues of $12.6bn.
Germany and the UK outscored the US in virtually every measurement of IT effectiveness, particularly in terms of improving IT processes and services to end users.
The US also lost when it came to developing a proactive IT organisation and making IT transparent and accountable to the business.
"These findings back up my own experience when working with customers in the UK and the US," said Colin Bannister, head of technical services at CA in the UK.
"When you consider that only a third of US IT departments effectively manage the complexity of their IT environments, compared to over half in the UK, it makes it easier for them to take the next step to align IT with business goals. "
The research found that the alignment of IT and business is a priority for most companies, but highlighted a marked difference in how European businesses are trying to achieve it.
"In the UK we see a much greater assessment of IT change on business output using process fundamentals," explained Bannister.
"For instance, businesses are starting to relate a server failure to whether a customer gets their order delivered, not just to an availability metric.
"The important thing for the IT industry is to remember that these discussions are at a process level, not a product level."
The survey also highlighted significant discrepancies in respondents' perceptions of the main obstacles to aligning IT with business priorities.
A shortage of skills was cited as the main barrier by 63 per cent of US respondents but only 40 per cent in the UK and Germany.
"As IT becomes an increasingly predominant factor in the top and bottom-line performance of the business, CIOs will have to focus more on the investment of their finite resources," said Bannister.
"This focus will continue to drive the adoption of best practices for IT resource allocation."
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