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May 12, 2015

UK IT leaders the most challenged in Europe, yet the most optimistic

Security & compliance the top challenge facing IT departments.

By Ellie Burns

UK IT departments have been found to be among the most pressurised in Western Europe, with security and compliance the top challenges currently facing IT leaders.

In addition to security and compliance, optimising IT and increasing complexity are also presenting challenges to IT departments and although these challenges are expected to lessen over the next five years, the extent to which they can be solved will depend on how effectively IT leaders can work with their partners.

The findings, from a European research report by Claranet, did reveal that while challenged, UK IT departments remain optimistic about the future.

For example, 50% of respondents stated that improving/optimising IT is a challenge today, but just 32% expect it to remain one in 2020. Similarly, the proportion today that expects enabling collaboration across the organisation (39%) is expected to half within five years.

This optimism may be down to the anticipated uptake in the use of IT services providers, which will, in turn, relieve pressure from IT departments; 15% of the UK IT estate is managed by third parties today, and this is expected to increase to 22% in 2020.

Michel Robert, Claranet’s UK Managing Director, said: "It’s clear that IT leaders in the UK face, and will continue to face, a wide range of challenges as they look to manage an IT estate that is growing in complexity.

"And while it is encouraging that those in the UK expect these challenges to reduce over the next five years, the degree to which they will can be tackled will depend heavily on the relationships that they can cultivate with their IT services providers. The breadth and depth of the issues currently faced will make trust a critical factor in navigating them.

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"Interestingly, improving and optimising IT appears to be a greater focus in the UK than in other parts of Europe, highlighting the opportunity for service providers, like Claranet, to help businesses run their current IT estates and freeing up time to work on aligning innovation options and market opportunities."

Claranet’s pan-European research report surveyed 900 IT decision-makers from the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal and the Benelux, from a range mid-market organisations.

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