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IT departments have seen increased focus and funding in 2020, new study reveals

By CIOReview | Thursday, July 30, 2020
43% of IT decision makers feel their relationship with business leaders has improved since the start of the pandemic

1 in 3 have been given more scope to define IT spend

1 in 3 organisations are looking to increase IT budgets

56% of IT decision makers stated that there is now a greater urgency for digital transformation

New research from hybrid IT services provider, Ensono, has found that the relationship between IT decision makers and business leaders has improved since the start of the pandemic. 43% of the 153 IT decision makers studied across the US and UK revealed that IT now commands more respect from the business.

With this increased respect, businesses have also grown hungrier for innovation, and consequently 1 in 3 (32%) IT decision makers are seeing IT budgets increase. 33% have been given more scope to define IT spend since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, versus just 5% who feel they have been given less scope to define IT spend.

Along with an uptick in funding, more organizations are looking to digitally transform due to pressures from COVID-19. In fact, 56% of IT decision makers have witnessed a greater urgency for digital transformation over the next few years. And almost 1 in 4 organizations surveyed have been forced to begin digitally transforming now.

When asked whether the coronavirus has changed their business view of IT, 38% of respondents confirmed the pandemic has helped improve understanding of IT. 30% of IT decision makers now have more control over business decisions, versus just 4% who stated they have less control now. Only 10% felt the pandemic had not changed their relationship in any way with the business.

Paola Doebel, Senior VP, Managing Director of North America, Ensono said: As businesses have had to quickly adapt to the new working realities brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, IT departments too have had to adjust their priorities to keep pace with the speed of change created by COVID. The IT department has been trusted to act fast and deliver so businesses can continue to move forward and safely address the needs of their team members and customers.

Despite the major disruption the pandemic brought to businesses, both in terms of working from home due to social distancing and increases in digital service demand, the IT department has been able to prove its value by keeping businesses running with 1 in 4 having faced no issues with downtime versus just 2% having recorded between 24 and 48 hours of downtime.

The research also found that 1 in 5 (20%) have found their scope of work has increased to include areas outside of IT, versus 4% who feel they have been relegated to IT and ignored by the rest of the business.

One respondent stated: While some plans were put on hold, for example those that focused on reducing technical debt, others have been expedited. Those transformation projects include supporting innovations that lead to new revenue streams.

Barney Taylor, Managing Director, Europe, Ensono said: Its important that digital transformation happening now and into the future continues to deliver to the business. CIOs need to ensure they are not innovating in a vacuum and are taking the necessary steps to ensure they are delivering not only to the business and shareholders, but ultimately to their end users.

The research asked 153 IT decision makers in the US and UK their views on how IT has adapted during the pandemic. The research was conducted from July 1-7, 2020.