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September 27, 2012

UK firms passively embracing new IT practices could fall behind

A think tank report warns IT managers and CIOs about complacency with new IT practices like BYOD, mobile IT and social media.

By Tineka Smith

The report by AIIM, the global community of information professionals, says that organisation taking a wait-and-see approach to new IT practices will miss out on the productivity, efficiency and cost saving benefits that these new areas can offer.

AIIM UK says that businesses failing to try and implement new IT areas like BYOD or social media could experience long term consequences.

"Many firms are either taking a wait-and-see approach to these technologies or are dismissing them entirely," said Andrew Graham, director at AIIM UK. "The report suggests that such caution or ambivalence could set many organisations back in terms of competitiveness and, ultimately, have a knock-on effect on the UK economy."

The report reveals that organisation who are most likely to reap the benefits of new IT trends are those that acknowledge consumerisation of IT as more than a technology shift and listen to their employees.

A recent Gartner study also said that the consumerisation of IT will be the most significant trend impacting IT for the next 10 years. Graham advises businesses to implement new IT technologies in their day to day business.

"Break-through thinking, value-creating innovation and calculated risks have never been more important to achieving competitive differentiation than in today’s economy," said Graham. "With the consumerisation of IT and BYOD, the sea change in expectations being placed on IT staff is real and irreversible, and organisations across the UK must seize the opportunity as soon as they can."

AIIM UK offers IT managers and CIOs the following tips to implement new IT trends and captialise on these strategies:

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1. Enterprise IT needs to change its mental mode – from one of ‘complete control’ to one of ‘leverage and enable’.

2. Understand evolving information users and usage – focus on how people get the work done, not just what devices they are using.
Companies need to think hard about how to use technology to enable its organisation around work rather than organising work around technology.

3. Acknowledge information user needs – listen to your users; give them what they want. Typically they want better and faster access to the information that they need, in a way that is useful and in a format they are familiar with.

4. Anticipate future use and align with enterprise goals – technology is an enabler of business goals, although not a goal in itself. Identify your business goals and strategies and match the technology to achieve those goals. Best-in-class technology is great, technology that fits your business goals is even better.

5. Shape the technology you use – work with your suppliers to ensure products meet your information user needs. Switch from a device to a consumer focus.

6. Expand CIO roles and thinking – CIOs need to shift their mindset from a focus primarily on ‘produce results’ and ‘administer systems’ to also include focusing on ‘integration’ and entrepreneur’.

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