I recently worked with ISACA to create a short survey around “Value of IT Investments”. The responses from more than 500 IT professionals in the US raise some interesting questions. While 67% of respondents felt that they were realizing between 50 – 100% of expected value from their IT investments, only 34% felt there was a shared understanding of what value was in their enterprise, and only 29% had a comprehensive approach to measuring that value. This raises the question, “On what basis are spending decisions made?”.
These findings support the results of a number of other studies, anecdotal evidence and my own experience that most decisions related to value from IT are subjective, and all too often based on perception and emotion rather than facts. The survey also confirms that responsibility for ensuring the realization of value from IT-enabled investments continues to be abdicated to the IT function with 57% responding that this is the case. Remarkably, 11% responded that no-one was responsible!
In response to another question about responding to the current economic crisis:
· 16% of enterprises are making across-the-board cuts in IT spending;
· 14% are freezing at current levels;
· 44% are reducing spending selectively; and
· 26% are increasing selectively.
These results are encouraging in that they show that enterprises are moving away from the traditional across-the-board cuts, but again raise the question of how spending decisions – decisions to freeze, spend more or spend less – are made.
We are still consolidating these results with those from other countries, which, while largely consistent, show some interesting differences. I will post and discuss these when they are made public.
The results so far, however, show that we still have a long way to go – organizations will continue to come nowhere near to realizing the full value of their increasingly significant and complex IT-related investments until they implement effective governance of IT, as an integral part of overall enterprise governance, adopt proven value management practices – such as those in the Val IT™ Framework 2.0 from ISACA, and assign accountability for the realization of value for those investments to the business, rather than abdicating it to the IT function.