The CA Attitude to IT Business Alignment survey shows local CIOs have an opportunity to transform perceptions of IT and the value it delivers.
The survey was conducted by independent research company Interserv and targeted CIOs and IT leaders in companies of more than 500 employees. In total, 69 CIOs were interviewed across South Africa from a diverse range of industries including both public and private organisations.
Wilhelm Hamman, Business Unit Manager from CA Africa presented the survey results at a recent Foster-Melliar breakfast seminar.
The attitudinal survey found CIOs feeling positive about their level of inclusion in strategic business discussions around IT and business alignment in addition to understanding the value of IT within the business.
The survey did however re-establish that the "value? that IT brings to the table is defined in terms of or relative to the price-tag attached to it.
IT contributes to the financial performance of an organisation by reducing costs, said 68% of the respondents, with 58% of respondents identifying budget reports as the primary tool used in establishing this fact.
A budget and time comparison is regarded as the number one method for measuring the effectiveness of both internally managed and outsourced IT projects.
"Financial value management is an important aspect of responsible IT governance controls," comments Gary Lawrence, Country Manager for CA Africa.
"But being measured against a budget reinforces the view that IT only represents a cost, rather than a contributor to the business. An IT project could successfully meet budget and timeline requirements and still prove to be an absolute failure in terms of business benefit."
"CIOs and IT leaders have the tools at their disposal that will allow them to measure the value that IT adds to a business, effectively allowing IT to produce results," says Lawrence.
"If IT can present itself in ways that the business requires, other than using cost as the yardstick, that?s when IT earns its seat on the board. Aligning IT functionality with business requirements proves that it has become a core business function rather than a cost centre.'
Findings from the survey include: