Business and technology diverging on deadlines

CIOs and IT managers are failing to understand the business impact of the projects they are working on, according to new research.

CIOs and IT managers are failing to understand the business impact of the projects they are working on, according to new research.

Despite leading to an array of business related problems, IT managers are consistently delivering a number of their projects late, according to a new survey.

Nearly half of the companies surveyed worldwide said that 25% or more of IT projects are delivered late, according to the study, which was carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of HP.

At a presentation of the findings in Dubai, Samer Karawi, marketing director, Technology Solution Group, HP Middle East, said that IT capabilities were failing to keep pace with the requirements of business.

"We are coming to a point where business is becoming technology and technology is becoming business - the bad side is when IT fails, it has a huge impact on business," he said.

"The requirements for businesses are going high while IT capabilities are not coping," he added.

There was some ambiguity over how IT managers in the UAE fared, however.

Of the 25 companies surveyed in the UAE, 36% said that one in four of their projects was delayed, higher than the US (22%) and the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region as a whole (23%).

However, none of the UAE companies canvassed admitted that all of their projects were late in comparison to 7% of participants in the US and 4% in the EMEA.

The discrepancy could be down to variation in honesty of the responses as well as to the relatively small sample of applicants in the UAE, Karawi said.

Over half (52%) of those surveyed in the UAE blamed use of external outsourcing for slowing down the delivery of IT projects.

Other reasons cited for delays included a lack of co-ordination between IT and business managers, and changes to business priorities while projects are in progress.

With consequences of delays including postponed product launches, loss of anticipated revenues and delays to planned cost savings, Karawi stressed the need for IT managers to gain a better understanding of the importance of delivering projects on time.

"Today CIOs are measured on overall business outcomes such as how fast they can help the company launch new products and bring new distribution channels online. It's no longer just about delivering only on technology service-level agreements," he said.

The findings were based on a survey of 1,125 IT professionals around the world.

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