Diverse IT systems and their effective integration is a primary concern for IT and business managers, according to an IBM-sponsored global survey performed by Spikes Cavell and focusing on major international organisations with annual turnover exceeding $500 million.
Graham Opie, sector director at Spikes, says the key challenge for IT managers is, ?to deploy business applications which respond to the critical, yet changing, requirements of their business managers.?
Particular pressures are the need to support business processes in the wake of growing numbers of mergers, acquisitions or divestments, along with the new onus on electronic communications, both internally and with external parties.
The consultants say that 86 per cent of business managers agree that integration of IT systems across the enterprise would result in improved competitiveness, and Colin Osborne, IBM?s Business Manager MQSeries, comments: ?As companies buy into the benefits of network computing, the integration of IT systems [is] a key part of the drive to improve business effectiveness.?
As many as 91 per cent of business managers and 88 per cent of IT managers believe that electronic communication with third parties - customers, suppliers and business partners - will be very important over the next three years, and similarly with the Internet.
And 69 per cent of business and 74 per cent of IT manager say the Internet will become an industrial strength medium for commercial transactions, although four per cent of all Internet transmissions are known to disappear into cyberspace. ?For the growing number of companies who rely on the Internet to do business, that?s simply unacceptable,? says Osborne.
Changes in the external business environment are driving efforts to integrate business processes.
Almost half of all respondents work for companies involved in mergers, acquisitions or divestments over the past year, and the majority say that these changes caused several problems, but integration is cited as primary. Even among installed systems, multi-platform IT dominates, with 85 per cent of IT managers saying that information required by business users cannot be accessed via a single system. 73 per cent say this causes problems, and over 50 percent say that the information required was stored on more than six systems.
Geoengineering on the sea floor near glaciers would form a new ice shelf to prevent melting
Alterations in capillary blood flow can be caused by body position change
Curiosity rover is in 'normal mode' but not transmitting scientific data back to base
NatWest outage comes a day after Barclays' IT systems shut out customers and staff