IT industry must demonstrate value more

IT industry must demonstrate value more

As Nicholas Carr - author of the controversial and hotly debated 'IT doesn't matter' article – prepares to visit our shores, he will no doubt feel somewhat vindicated in his stance should he stumble upon the new joint study from State Chamber of Commerce (NSW) and outsourcing specialists Unisys, which finds lack of visibility of cost-effectiveness a major barrier to IT adoption.

The report challenges the IT industry to demonstrate more clearly the economic benefits of its offerings. According to the report, entitled 'Getting a Grip on IT', difficulty in understanding the cost-effectiveness and the benefits of IT are barriers stopping businesses from adopting new information technology.

Mike Ettling, managing director Unisys Australia / New Zealand, said the survey is an important reference, providing a platform on which the IT industry, government and business can cooperate to ensure that the long-term economic benefits of effective IT investment are maintained.

"The report results are a clarion call to the IT sector: it needs to become better at demonstrating the cost-effectiveness and returns of its offerings. Unisys supports the recommendations made by the State Chamber that government, business and IT services and product suppliers should collaborate on the future definition of the IT needs of the State and the country."

State Chamber of Commerce CEO Margy Osmond said mobile phones, email and the Internet might now be commonplace in most workplaces but the research showed that cost-effectiveness of technology was still a main stumbling block for those businesses who have not yet embraced the IT revolution.

"Despite dramatic advancements in the way we do business, many organisations still find it difficult to see what's in it for them. And in regional areas, with inadequate infrastructure, the new technology we take for granted in the city often isn't even an option."

"IT providers must think more like consultants, explicitly linking business strategy with IT applications and infrastructure, and working with customers to explain the effects of their IT investments ahead of making those investments," added Ettling. "It is no longer acceptable to divorce IT strategy from business strategy.  Unisys believes that the IT industry has to focus on eliminating business and IT complexity, rather than just selling solutions. This report supports that view. Unisys involvement in the survey is our part is lifting the level of understanding of the benefits of investing in enterprise technology so that the value of IT is more apparent," concluded Ettling.

Unisys and the Chamber are calling on the IT industry and the broader business community to provide their views on how the value of IT can be made clear to NSW business.  Over the next six weeks these will be collected and discussed at a forum at the end of June. Comments should be sent to

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