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Research suggests reluctance to embrace new tech

Research undertaken by cloud communications provider 8×8 and the Institute of Directors (IoD), has exposed a rift between attitudes of company directors and IT managers, when it comes to embracing new technology

The study compared the views of mid-level ‘hands on’ IT managers with those of the senior directors across more than 260 UK businesses.

Kevin Scott-Cowell, UK Managing Director, 8x8
Kevin Scott-Cowell, UK Managing Director, 8×8

The survey results suggests IT managers feel senior leaders in their organisations are holding back the adoption of new technology which could have a positive impact on their business.

67 per cent of senior business leaders and middle managers say UK businesses are too wary of adopting new technology such as cloud communications, and only 56 per cent think the senior team in their business invests sufficient resources to stay up to date with the latest technology.

The research revealed a suspicion, held by 45 per cent of IT managers, that senior business leaders hold back technology for reasons of ‘self-preservation’, whereby they are reluctant to embrace new tech that will disrupt their own position or the status quo within their organisations.

A difference of opinion

IT managers are far less optimistic than senior directors when asked if their organisation makes full use of the latest technology. 49 per cent of C-suite respondents believe that their companies do make full use of the latest technology compared with 34 per cent of IT managers.

IT managers are more likely to admit that their business could be more up to speed with the latest technology, over half (54 per cent) agreed with this, versus 47 per cent of senior directors. 35 per cent of IT managers also felt that insufficient budget is directed toward technology implementation, in contrast just 20 per cent of senior business leaders shared the same sentiment.

Kevin Scott-Cowell, 8×8 UK Managing Director said: “We frequently hear anecdotal evidence that IT managers face significant opposition from senior leaders when it comes to adopting new technologies such as cloud communications, this research suggests this is something which is widely felt.

“Certainly, many senior leaders fear replacing expensive legacy IT systems that they have invested in. Their reluctance to do so in order to preserve the status quo, can be damaging to businesses who are losing out on the many benefits to staff productivity and ultimately, the potential for business growth,” he added.

“Senior business leaders obviously bring vast experience and decision-making skills,” said Lysanne Currie, Group Editor and Head of Content Publishing, IoD. “The results of this study suggest that mid-level IT managers and the wider technology community needs to do more to explain the benefits of embracing newer forms of technology, such as a shift to cloud communications, and talk the language which the Board and Directors understand.”


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