Report: IT is 'keeping the lights on,' but CIOs must be freed up to innovate

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The majority of IT leaders (56%) agree that more energy and attention is directed to maintaining strong operations rather than innovative business initiatives (33%), according to a Friday survey by IDG Connect, commissioned by Ivanti.

The more than 300 IT decision makers surveyed all agreed that innovation was on the backburner. Respondents reported tasks like lowering IT spending (50%) and supporting business processes (41%) took priority over over strategic innovation (28%) and training staff on IT security (23%), according to the press release.

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When asked how the IT teams spend most their time and resources, survey respondents cited security initiatives (52%), implementing new technologies/processes (52%), maintaining and updating current applications/systems (42%), and acquiring the right talent (38%), said the release.

"It's not over-dramatizing matters to argue that enterprises today face an existential crisis: innovate or die," said Matthew Smith, president of demand generation at IDG Communications, in the press release. "As globalization and digital-native startups threaten incumbents, smart companies need to liberate their CIOs to think ahead of the curve rather than obsess over day-to-day operations. But today IT is all too often still regarded as a support function or information leaders are too stretched to drive competitive differentiation."

One of the most startling discoveries in the report is how little importance respondents gave to training staff on IT security. Especially with nearly half of organizations facing cyberattacks because of employee error, educating staff on cybersecurity procedures is vital now more than ever.

Click here for more tips on how to make your employees care about cybersecurity.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • Some 56% of IT leaders prioritize maintaining everyday operations to innovating business initiatives (33%). — IDG, 2018
  • The highest prioritized effort in IT businesses is lowering IT spending (50%), while one of the lowest initiatives is training staff on IT security (23%). — IDG, 2018

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