Feeds

back to article 2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

China and the US are investing more in technology in a bid to drive innovation than the UK, more than half of respondents to a new survey have said. According to management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture which conducted the poll - and published the results this week - 56 per cent of business …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Bronze badge
Coat

Innovation

Is that the thing that has replaced having a clue.

7
0
h3
Bronze badge

Re: Innovation

I am not sure.

But being the opposite of innovative seems to be more sustainable. (e.g see Sun vs Oracle).

4
0
Trollface

Re: Innovation

If that true how does America stand, because time and time again they prove they have no f*cking CLUE

0
1
Anonymous Coward

We'd love to be innovative, but business is too busy splashing cash on ipads, laptops for Joe Bloggs in HR, and marketing campaigns that have little impact, also they enjoy doing things like brand refreshes and othe such glorious things.

Then wont give you £1000 to improve the company "nas" which I'm sure is a PC somewhere with a raid 1 consisting of two 500GB drives and no free space.

Or are confused when their glorious new scheme to direct random traffic to the companies web site results in everything falling over because our technology platform was "getting on a bit" in the late nineties.

15
0
Silver badge

"39 per cent place the responsibility for driving technological innovation with a company's IT team"

In other words "Hey! You! Go and innovate so we make more money!"

5
0
Alert

Those same 39% also gave the IT department a budget of £0.00 to drive innovation.

Usually the same genius types that slash the IT department headcount whilst doubling the number of projects.

16
0
N2
Bronze badge

Ahem

I thought that figure was 100%, usually any suggestion of spending / investing call it what you like gets a look like youve just spat in the MDs face.

2
0
Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Ahem

Perfect.

You know exactly who will be taking the fall for the latest boardroom cockup and incontinent deployment of a golden parachute.

2
0
Bronze badge

"Those same 39% also gave the IT department a budget of £0.00 to drive innovation.

Usually the same genius types that slash the IT department headcount whilst doubling the number of projects."

Perhaps they do this because most IT people do nothing all day, and never properly justify their spending. If you can properly explain why spending money will benefit the business then you'll find considerably more budget available. If you can show (perhaps with call logging statistics) how busy everyone is then they won't cut IT headcount. If you sit there saying you're busy but can't back it up, expect the axe at some point. If you ask for budget for what lokos like toys from the boss and don't explain what value that has to the business, don't expect a cheque. If your last project finished and you didn't then go to the board and explain how things were better then don't expect another one to come along.

5
4
Anonymous Coward

perhaps

Perhaps you have management that don't want SLA's because they know that you will meet any sensible SLA what they really want is for the problem to be fixed NOW, however impossible that is, and they can then bitch about how easy it is to install software at home why can't you install it at work on 500 work stations immediately, what's this testing and packaging crap you don't need that. Or perhaps they could have their brother in law come in and show you how to install that application you are having problems with rolling out as a package to a hundred PCs.

3
0
Silver badge
Alert

At a recent strategy workshop

One of our IT directors repeated the statement that his operation were considered "low cost" as a badge of pride. A claim that other IT directors took as being a positive. Until it was distilled to show "low cost" meant not a penny for innovation, R&D and anything else which wasn't BAU.

3
0
N2
Bronze badge

Re: At a recent strategy workshop

"Badge of pride"

ha!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses HOPE IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'

(because they haven't a clue- or the company doesn't actually make anything)

Fixed for you.

2
0
Silver badge
Pint

IT Dept Innovation?

Forget it.

All they have been told is to outsource everything to India/China/wherever. That includes everything but those people needed to support the Board of Directors. Everyone else is totall surplus to requirements here in the UK.

Ok. Beer O'Clock while I still have a job to go to.

6
0

Re: IT Dept Innovation?

"All they have been told is to outsource everything to India/China/wherever."

That's what is now called "financial innovation".

The headline might as well read:

Half of CEO's have Zero Clue

I will never live long enough to recount the number of CEO's & senior managers who have told me that IT is absolutely essential to cost reduction and competitive advantage, only to be totally non-plussed when I responded "Oh, do you really think so? because I'd have thought you'd want to invest in more of it, if that were the case ... "

Most managers think about IT as a necessary evil, and they're only half convinced about the necessary part.

10
0
Bronze badge

Half of CEOs Have Zero Clue

Other Half of CEOs are Clue-Resistant.

4
0

Asking an IT department to innovate new business practices

...seems to me like asking a NASCAR pit crew to innovate new racing maneuvers for the racecar driver.

Hmph.

...Cirdan...

4
0
Silver badge

If you're wondering where the 'I' in team went - it's in 'Innovation,' really close to the 'no.'

6
0
Silver badge

No 'I' in team

Back in high school, the phys ed coach gave the cliched "No 'I' in 'team' " speech.

Being the snarky sort of kid (Haven't changed much), I pointed out that there was an 'M' and an 'E'.

Got my lowest grade in phys ed that quarter.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: No 'I' in team

Isn't that a Gervais gag, "There''s no I in team, but if you look very closely there is a ME"?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: No 'I' in team

There's no 'I' in loser either. Funnily enough, there is an 'I' in winner.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: No 'I' in team

No, there is no I in team, but there is a U in cunt.

Not directed at Captain DaFt, BTW, just something which I really want to say to people who trot out the "no I in team" line. I've only been able to use it once, when a friend said "no I in team" to me, slightly jokingly. I can't help thinking using it at work would be a CLD.

(Career Limiting Decision)

1
0

Re: No 'I' in team

What a bastard, ruining your life like that.

0
1

UK lags behind.

"56 per cent of business leaders in Blighty believe the UK 'lags behind' China and the US in technology innovation."

Would this be mostly because the UK is much smaller than the two, in terms of businesses, wealth and people.

0
0
Gold badge
FAIL

Bosses love "innovation" *until* someone does it or asks for *money* to do some, then it's

a)Find the hammer to smack down the nail that stands out furthest and b) No.

Bosses want to see "innovation"

Just a f**king minute that's what they are paid to do, is it not?

Remember folks this is an attitude survey.

In reality the UK might be quite innovative relative to China, India or the US.

Or it might not.

But that would require an objective measure. Which is actually quite hard work.

1
0
Silver badge
Holmes

Pointed-haired boss

No, they are paid to want innovation.

2
0

Twatucks

"2 in 5 top Brit biz bosses expect IT dept to drive 'technical innovation'"

Errr but the witless sociopathic Fucktards have outsourced all their IT.

4
0
Silver badge

It doesn't have much to do with money as such

It's more about creating an environment where good and competent people want to work. In the long run, this will save you costs.

How do you do this? Well that's the hard part, but it certainly doesn't help when you outsource your IT and hire just about any idiot.

Maybe you could designate "experimentation" resources to your IT crowd where they can just evaluate new technologies independently of any current demand? Maybe it makes sense to hire smart people who come from different areas, but still have some experience with IT? It's hard to propose a good strategy.

I guess one thing is clear, you cannot simply solve the problem by pouring money onto it.

2
0
Bronze badge

IT is not what a business makes money out of, unless IT is the business.

IT innovation can reduce costs. But if you're a buggy whip manufacturer expecting IT innovation to save the say, if it works out you are very likely now an IT company.

2
0
Bronze badge

" 39 per cent place the responsibility for driving technological innovation with a company's IT team. However, most of those surveyed (57 per cent) said they do not believe that their business is leading the way in using new technologies. This is despite most respondents describing innovation as being "extremely important" to driving business success in IT (78 per cent), financial management (58 per cent) and operations (57 per cent)."

Surely it's obvious that IT should be driving the innovation since they are the ones who understand technology. The fact that most don't just demonstrates how few IT people are good at their jobs and how few understand technology and business.

0
2

Re: Surely it's obvious

It is very difficult to explain to middle management how some "innovation" is good for the business and should be invested in (unless some competitor is already doing it).

Some huddles are the IT department's own doing, and the rest (although various) can be classed as "oil - water interfaces" between different branches of an organization.

IT is often viewed as modern day typing pool or office cleaners, and are too busy with day-to-day duties. They are the nurses of IT equipment - essential and poorly paid. What is needed is a fitness instructor or personal trainer.

Poor internal marketing skills. With someone in technology with a strong clean vision and good communication skills. Innovations (to others in the company) might provide solutions looking for a problem, barriers to entry (user training, new equipment, etc.) which appear too high.

Since it is so difficult for technology departments to plead their case to the bean-counters, the few solutions which do make it, get all the love and the IT department becomes polarized and inflexible - hypothetical example, buying MS products has a clearly defined cost (fixed and variable) over a free/open product with fuzzy costs (this is why cloud services win with bean-counters); more MS tools are bought to service the MS environment, then fashion changes to BYOD and the IT department is left looking stupid.

In your face arrogance, the technology experts use complexity and jargon to exclude other business units. Other business unit leaders send their stupidest employees (from a business point of view) to interface with the technology experts, to avoid feeling stupid themselves.

0
0
Silver badge

"Surely it's obvious that IT should be driving the innovation since they are the ones who understand technology."

Yes, but they are also the ones who often know the least about the actual business.

I think we moved in the right direction at my last job. We put together teams involving IT and a particular department. They helped enormously.

The main stumbling block before that was that we, in IT, didn't know what the depts needed, and the depts didn't know what we could do. By bringing us together, we could hear what was making life difficult for them, and suggest ways to improve things.

All too often, IT personnel keep themselves isolated from everyone else. This makes life easier, but unless you talk to those using the tech, you can't improve it for their benefit.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

"Only 4 per cent of respondents said everyone within a business has a role to play in innovating" Isn't that inclusiveness what used to be referred to as the Japanese business model? Unfortunately, it requires that people at the top are (a) listening, and (b) rewarding good ideas.

2
0

IT Directors & CI(E)O's? Don't make me laugh

Oh I am sure there are Directors and CI(E)O's out there that have a clue. But they are rarer than a mentally deranged possum with a Paris Hilton fixation, a fist full of Viagra and a bottle of pesticide laced cheap Russian vodka looking for sucky sucky five dollah five dollah.

Most it professionals I work with (note the word professionals...not every one in IT is a pro...oh you might think you're a pro rebooting a critical server without telling anyone or implementing a back up solution with out testing restores...but no...chances are you're either a n00b or a cowboy. I can forgive a n00b...we all started somewhere. Cowboys not so much.

Seems to me that many who are in the upper echelons are in fact cowboys...reacting to a situation without a logical assessment of the situation. No...the closest they come to innovation is how to gut an IT dept to "achieve cost savings" without incurring the wrath of HR in terms of unfair dismissal claims. Of course all the real IT guys are gone and then expects the dazed, confused and smoking remains to innovate solutions that are far beyond the ken of anyone there. Which the leads to the entrance of the fast talking sales guy from *take your pick of cheap labour but educated countries" who promises the earth but delivers dirt.

We were the number one country in the world for computing at one time. We are never going to retake that crown without a serious overhaul of not only our education system but also the way management works and considers success.

5
0
Silver badge

Saddest case I've heard of.

A mate worked as an IT manager in a financial company that got a new CIO who moved across from their finance department. Those of us with experience will already be guessing where that great idea went. The new CIO said he wanted to innovate, but decided everything, including staff, had to be a "quantifiable asset" for him to do so. For example, he had to pay £18,000 for a tape monkey, so he wanted to be able to show back to the business what value that tape monkey delivered. Quite ridiculous. What value do you put on not being able to recover a file if you don't have a tape monkey running a backup? In the case of a legal investigation, where you have to find that file to save your company's arse in court, then the value of the service performed by the tape monkey is the value of the company's business, full stop! It was a pretty futile exercise for my friend, the new boss simply refused to accept that IT kept the business going, he was obviously looking for a way to "innovate" by firing staff he thought didn't return value. My friend helped him out by leaving for a better company.

3
1
Anonymous Coward

Re: Saddest case I've heard of.

If you can't point to the value of an employee, you have no business employing them. In a professionally run business, there is no nebulous "we don't know what they're worth, but we'd be screwed if they weren't here", you need to properly understand your employees and what they do, in order to know that you won't end up screwed should they leave or suddenly die. Part of knowing what an employee does is knowing the value of their work.

1
1
Silver badge
Happy

Re: AC Re: Saddest case I've heard of.

"If you can't point to the value of an employee...." Oh, not at all, my mate was quite good at demonstrating business value, it was just the bean-counter they employed as his boss just couldn't accept what he was being told, mainly because the bean-counter already had a figure in mind for the "savings" he wanted to make (by staff cuts) without any actual idea on the impact of those "savings" (greater cost through lost capability later down the line). I know how good my mate is because he left them to come work for us.

1
0
Anonymous Coward

Oh Really?

Our lot place the responsibility for being innovative onto project managers, who then wander out and pick whatever looks shiniest, actually, they pick what gives the shiniest looking for the least money.

So most of our IT dept time is spent on trying to make the latest bag of crap work, whilst not breaking any of the other shiny stuff they've given us...

An example I hear you cry? well, they bought an email management system that isn't compatible with the web browser on the locked down corporate desktops, but needed a very specific, and also very old version of firefox (3.16 for those interested), and somehow that was our fault. Then they bought a call recording system that needs no fewer than 10 pre-reqs installed on the desktop, despite us telling them to ask the vendor.

I'd love to have time to be innovative, but I'm too busy sorting out the crap that management foist off on us...

3
0
Silver badge

CEO ==

Chinese

Enterprise

Outsourcers

With their

Your business going to them very soon.

2
0
Bronze badge

"...management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company Accenture..."

"...attracting more people into studying subjects rooted in science, technology, engineering or maths would "help drive UK innovation"...."

Who in their right mind would choose a career in IT when statistics show this field has has the highest graduate unemployment rate in the UK? Companies like Accenture like to outsource jobs, preferably to places with low salaries and lax employment laws. An alternative is to employ someone in India, bring them to the UK under an ICT visa and have them replace a more expensive British worker. If the guy from India is swapped out within the year, the company can save the employer's NI contributions. A decade of this has help keep IT salaries down (If I returned to work the UK now, I would likely earn no more than I earned in the mid-1990s).

Small companies have some chance of innovating, probably because they are typically run by people who understand their field and are uninterested and too small to fall in with the outsourcers.

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Coming from a different angle

OK - hands up first - I'm a sales / marketing 'person'. Calm down - one that started as a programmer and worked my way up through analyst and onto MIS Manager. So I understand some of what people are going through. I never try to sell something that people don't want or need.

Now I'm currently selling a solution that I believe sits well with IT Managers. So far met about 20 - 30 people - all senior IT Managers / Directors. In several cases I worked out the potential savings we could give, after taking THEIR figures and agreeing that the calculations are right. I almost every case people don't want to go any further - on the basis that someone up above has other priorities.

Now to me (maybe I have a skewed view) it means that people are nervous to suggest something different, or propose something that may put their head above the parapet. Some are different - in the initial meeting they are seeing how they can save money or do something more efficiently. They move things forward, which is potentially good for me.

To cite one example - showed an IT Manager a potential saving of £100k, he asked the outlay - £7k. He said not worth him asking the board.

To me it's simple - the top level is blocking innovation by making savings a priority - rather than efficiency or innovation. Staff are scared to suggest things for making themselves visible. The best assets in a company are it's staff - but only if they can operate without fear.

3
0
Silver badge

Re: Coming from a different angle

"the top level is blocking innovation by making savings a priority"

Yep, I've seen that so many times. It's why I left my last job. Top brass blocked every proposal we put in front of them. One particular project (virtualising a load of under utilised servers which were costing a fortune in support contracts and were slowly dying) was on it's 5th iteration, each with lower costs, even though the first showed savings within 3 years. Didn't matter to the board.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Coming from a different angle

Oh and to add to my comment - in one place I made an offer, with significant discount, and it was rejected - because there was A COST!! It would have saved the guy 3.5 hours a day on ONE task.

I tried to clarify and was told that the IT Manager had applied for a spend of £3k on a firewall. This was rejected - with the IT Manager being told "let them hack us!". I said about time savings and the bosses response was "if people want to keep their jobs then they won't mind working a few hours extra"...

This is a high street store using the internet to send daily sales stats, important information, etc.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.