UK firms are shying away from deploying new technology at the expense of productivity and competitiveness, a survey has claimed.
Only 28 per cent of the companies questioned directly linked the use of IT with the ability to innovate.
Most of the respondents were living with ageing systems which they were not prepared to replace because they had invested too much in them already.
Nearly half of the firms surveyed do not conduct an annual review of how effective their IT is in support of the business.
Of those that do, only 12 per cent prefer to rely the objectivity of independent external audits. More than two in five rely on internal audits alone.
Jamie Anderson, programme director at the Centre for Management Development at the London Business School, maintained that companies should encourage the use of innovative technology even if it is unproven in their own industry.
"Incremental innovation marginally improves products, services or processes," he said. "Radical innovation involves changing a businesses operating model or introducing a new, radical product."
Anderson urged companies to identify the areas where they need to innovate, and to look outside their own industry to find examples of other companies which have used technology to solve similar problems.
He also said that, in order for innovation to really translate into bottom-line success, companies will need "the absolute commitment of the board".
"You will meet with political resistance because, in some cases, you are doing away with physical processes for virtual ones," said Anderson.
"And you must recognise that there will also be process constraints and the need to change the mindset of people."
The survey, sponsored by Oracle, interviewed senior managers at 300 companies with 250 or more employees in England, Scotland and Ireland.
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