Why Is Increasing Productivity The Top Focus For IT Again?

business-productivity-cost-reduction | Photo Courtesy of vancouverfilmschool http://www.flickr.com/photos/vancouverfilmschool/4314589172/sizes/q/When the recession hit, the focus for IT switched from increasing the productivity of employees to cutting costs. Now that the economy is starting to recover, productivity is again at the top of IT agenda, but organizations also must contain costs.

A post on the IT Business Edge blog reports that business productivity and cost reduction have moved from fourth place in 2011 to first place this year in a Society of Information Management survey.

The survey also found that the top IT application investment priorities are business intelligence, cloud computing and enterprise resource planning systems. Collaboration and workflow tools also are becoming a bigger priority.

Jeffrey Luftman, executive director of The Global Institute for IT Management, tells IT Business Edge the survey results reinforce that IT organizations must be well-rounded in recognizing projects that will improve revenue without driving up IT costs. Only a slight increase in budgets is expected next year.

IT is now about revenue generation as opposed to just providing tools for business people. Companies are looking for IT to cut the cost of the business.

Before, IT simply provided computers and installed software, and the businesspeople took over from there. Now they’re being asked to make systems and processes across the entire company more efficient.

IT is tasked with finding cost-effective ways to deliver the company’s service. This is why IT has to be part of the higher level business meetings and strategic planning.

Luftman explains that seniors IT leaders are facing more pressure than ever as IT becomes increasingly challenging to manage due to virtualization and Big Data.

The good news is that companies are still using IT to cut business costs instead of cutting the IT budget. However, in return for that faith, businesses are going to focus intensely on getting a return on investment from IT in 2013.

Source: IT Business Edge, October 2012