IT departments are not focusing enough on expanding revenue, according to research from Claranet.
The study showed a general focus on traditional IT applications, with data security considered as the primary function of the department by 56 percent.
In addition, 38 percent view technological support of employees as the primary function of the department and 34 percent cost reduction.
Only 16 percent and 14 percent respectively, however, believed that making the business more competitive and increasing customer loyalty were the core functions. This reveals a focus on maintaining businesses’ bottom lines, or profit, at the expense of the top line, revenue.
Claranet’s UK Managing Director, Michel Robert, said: "Increasingly, business success rests on the IT department’s ability to develop applications and IT systems that deliver ROI by being agile and flexible enough to support new ways of doing business. But it’s clear from the research that the average IT department is still more likely to be seen as a cost centre rather than as an enabler of business transformation and differentiation.
"While the research found that the IT department will become more strategic over the next five years, focusing more on expanding into new markets and executing new business models, the era of ‘digitalisation’ will remain some way off for the majority.
"The role of IT services providers in facilitating the shift from keeping the lights on to business enablement cannot be understated. In today’s economic climate, it makes absolute sense for existing IT staff to focus on higher value strategic work, while transferring the day-to-day management of IT infrastructure to a trusted partner who can provide higher levels of service through economies of scale and skill and deliver cost reductions as a result."
The research surveyed 900 IT decision-makers in mid-market organisations from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux.