An Onus of Innovation


A survey reveals that businesses are looking toward their information technology departments as a source of innovation. Yet, the average amount budgeted for that purpose seems to tell another story.

The message to information technology departments is clear: innovate. Just do so in a frugal manner. That's seems to be the takeaway of a recent survey from Wayne, N.J.-based Harvey Nash Plc. The study, "Strategic Insights Survey - A U.S. IT Leadership Perspective," polled 321 CIOs, CTOs, CEOs, COOs and senior and mid-level IT managers about their views on the role of innovation in the data center.

The survey found widespread enthusiasm for the benefits realized from innovation, tempered with the reality of tight information technology budgets. When asked what benefits they are accruing from innovation, the runaway winner was improved internal processes, followed by transformational change.

While a great preponderance of the respondents (92%) said their coworkers on the business side view the IT department as a source of competitive advantage, most reported that that expectation comes without concrete expectations or metrics.

Perhaps more troubling than these vague marching orders are the budgetary constrictions with which they are issued. More than of half of the respondents said that their company allots just 1% to 3% of their IT budget for innovation initiatives. Indeed, only 18% of those queried could expect more than 8% of their funds to be aimed toward innovation.

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