Are Organizations Behind The Curve in Tech Trends? IBM Study Says Yes

By Steve Anderson May 20, 2014

Technology has become a vital, irreplaceable, inescapable part of our everyday lives. From how we run businesses to how we pursue our hobbies and after-hours interests, technology is a part of it all. Changes in technology, meanwhile, often prompt new opportunities to do business, or at least a means to do current business more efficiently or otherwise better. But taking advantage of such trends correctly isn't always easy, and requires plenty of study and effort in order to get the full benefit out of such changes. A new study from IBM, meanwhile, suggests that businesses today aren't ready for the next generation of information technology (IT), which may mean a big problem without some key changes.

The IBM study, titled “IT Infrastructure Matters,” took the responses from 750 technology executives across 18 different countries and in 19 different industries, and discovered some rather alarming points. Perhaps the centerpiece of this particular buffet of trouble is that fewer than 10 percent of organizations actually believe that sufficient IT infrastructure is in place to take on the next generation of technology trends, including things like cloud computing, data analytics, and the still-growing proliferation of mobile devices. 46 percent said that “challenges” in moving large amounts of data from one place to another were a big part of current operations, and 43 percent in general found trouble in maintaining overall security within the operation. Another 43 percent—not necessarily the same, however—found the ability to cut costs and make things run more efficiently to be one of the major problems faced.

However, there's hope in the IBM study as well. 70 percent of organizations understand the important role that IT plays when it comes to things like gaining revenue, improving profit, and keeping an edge on the competition. Moreover, it's not just realization for most of these companies, it's also realization coupled with a call to action; 62 percent of respondents plan to increase spending to build IT infrastructure over the next 12 to 18 months, which should in turn leave companies better able to take on the issues of technology expansion.  But even this is tempered by the revelation that just 22 percent of companies currently have a plan for making IT infrastructure expansion.

The complete results of the IBM study are set to be made available in July, but even just what IBM has released so far is something of a cause for concern. Perhaps the biggest shocker is the lack of overall planning in better than three out of four companies; just throwing increased spending at a problem may not be the way to go. Of course, there's nothing saying that such a roadmap can't be produced—particularly once the level of the budget involved is made known—but it's better to have an idea of where the building will go before the building starts construction, not after the foundations start getting poured, so to speak. Still, what's clear from the survey is that, while firms may not be in the best position right now to take on the changes in technology coming up, many of those firms will be in much better shape shortly.

Regular technology spending administered by careful planning will likely be a large part of the overall picture for some time to come, and IBM underscores just how important that planning and spending will be. While firms aren't ready for the changes in technology to come, said firms merely aren't ready yet, and are rapidly working to change that.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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