British boardrooms lack technological understanding

There is a gulf in understanding between Chief Executives and Chief Information Officers in British boardrooms according to a new study. Only 19 per cent view their ICT infrastructure as ‘excellent’ and twelve per cent think their systems are poor value for money.

According to the study carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit on behalf of Telewest, nearly two thirds of CEOs say that technology usually underperforms against expectations. Not surprisingly perhaps, an almost equal number of CIOs disagree.

While British boardrooms realise the benefits that increased use of ICT may bring, many feel they don’t understand it. A quarter of CEOs admitted that executives needed a better understanding of technology while at the same time two thirds say they see it as a way of improving customer relations and maximising efficiency.

The lack of communication between general management and IT is also affecting investment. This year, just 43 per cent of CEOs plan to boost investment in IT compared with 58 per cent a year ago. More worryingly for IT managers an increasing amount of that cash is likely to go on outsourced projects.

‘Business and technology executives are still having trouble agreeing on the success of ICT projects, but investments need to be made to maintain competitive edge,’ said John Cunningham, Director of Business Services, Telewest Business.

Perhaps things might improve if IT managers did a bit of PR on the board. While half of CEOs say they would like access to mobile technology to help them work out of the office only 35 per cent of CIOs thought this was a top priority.

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