Executives across a wide range of industries have identified a significant gap in the alignment of their organization’s business strategy and IT functions, according to a survey by audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG LLP.
Only 5 percent of executives surveyed at Oracle OpenWorld 2013 say their business strategy and technology are 100 percent aligned. The survey by KPMG, a Platinum-level member of Oracle Partner Network (OPN), also found that 23 percent of respondents were not even aware of the degree of alignment within their organization.
“Bridging the gap between an organization’s business strategy and technology is critical to implementing operating models that will enable marketplace success in coming years,” said Richard Hanley, KPMG’s Oracle Lead Partner. “Creating greater alignment among the CFO, COO and CIO should be a priority of every organization to help ensure it is capturing the desired value from its IT investments.”
Current IT Initiatives
When asked about currently planned or in-process technology initiatives, survey respondents most frequently cited business process management (24 percent), software as a service (SaaS) (22 percent), predictive data and analytics systems (20 percent) and “bring your own device” (15 percent).
Hanley pointed out, however, that the lower-ranked mobility initiatives to enhance client engagement (13 percent), social networking (7 percent) and “bring your own software” (1 percent) may indicate organizations are missing opportunities to leverage mobile workforce and social collaboration tools that can improve critical business functions.
“Business process leaders and the IT functions need to have a more unified approach to changing the organization to meet emerging marketplace opportunities,” said Hanley. “Our survey may indicate a lag between emerging operational opportunities that can be enabled by technology and the IT function’s more immediate priorities for implementation.”
Hanley added that organizations must consider how to balance short-term improvements in efficiency through business process management capabilities with long-term needs and expectations of key stakeholders through mobile workforce initiatives and client-engagement programs.
Critical IT Considerations
Data and analytics (40 percent) and cloud initiatives (23 percent) were the top technology considerations critical to the success of respondents’ planned strategic initiatives over the next 18 months. Thirty-five percent of those surveyed believe that investments in smarter data will create opportunities to enable improved analysis and decision-making across the organization.
“As companies manage the rising volumes of customer and supply-chain data, there is a growing need to make all of this information rapidly actionable,” said Xena Ugrinsky, KPMG’s Oracle Enterprise Performance Management/Oracle Business Intelligence Leader. “Through analytics, companies can now go beyond the data to anticipate potential disruptions that could negatively impact their long-term profitability.”
Just over one-third (35 percent) of those surveyed said their organizations were innovative “to a great extent,” while 20 percent responded that their company was perceived as innovative “to some extent and declining” or “not at all.”
“Client and customer perceptions are key factors in companies’ ability to maintain competitive positions as innovators,” said Hanley. “KPMG’s services for Oracle customers can help position companies to drive greater innovation within their organization by leveraging emerging technologies, including cloud, mobile, and data and analytics to meet the needs of stakeholders.”
Respondents were also able to select several potential impediments to business transformation, with the most common barriers identified as resource and budget constraints (28 percent), prioritizing business transformation with other critical initiatives (21 percent), lack of change management resources (17 percent) and insufficient execution (17 percent).
“Businesses are facing a sea change in how they overcome the barriers to transform their operating models,” said Hanley. “This makes the alignment of emerging technologies with strategic objectives especially important to increase the likelihood for successful transformation initiatives.”
About KPMG LLP
KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm of KPMG International Cooperative (“KPMG International”). KPMG International’s member firms have 152,000 professionals, including more than 8,600 partners, in 156 countries.
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Derek Brown / Christine Curtin
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