April 26, 2013 – Getting IT and business to see eye-to-eye has been a mantra for successful enterprise data projects. The main blockade standing in its execution may be an even older challenge: reliable enterprise software and services. That’s according to a new research report from Forrester entitled “Exploring Business and IT Friction: Myths and Realities.”

The report, released Thursday, consists of responses to questions on the causes of disagreements and disappointment between the two enterprise divisions from more than 900 IT business users and 900 IT service providers polled in early 2013. It was sponsored by vendor BMC.

When business users were asked to rank losses to their productivity from issues related to IT problems, nearly one-fifth of business respondents responded “severely impacted,” meaning they could not do their job and had no viable work-around. Sixty-five percent of business users were found to be “moderately impacted,” and approximately 15 percent had a slight disruption of their duties because of IT issues. For U.S. respondents, 13 percent of business users registered approximately 43 to 160 hours of lost productivity per month. The vast majority (65 percent) of business users in the Forrester survey were more in the range of 2 to 16 lost hours per month due to IT issues.

The issues run the gamut of what IT pros deal with, from network password resets to more complicated software revamps. And heightening the conflict are the expansion of mobile connectivity and the related number of devices, which underpins the wider consumerization trend, according to Forrester. Updated and outdated enterprise tech remains an area of contention between end users and IT as well.

Along with the prospect of lost work hours, the disruptions and disconnect over what IT covers and can feasibly handle ripple through to greater problems of communication and projects moving forward, according to Forrester. The top problems across global respondents in the survey by business were slow speed of IT issue resolution (59 percent), difficulty reaching IT help (49 percent) and not getting answers that satisfy the problem (43 percent).

The report authors wrote: “Business users are reaching out to IT for help — but just as many are trying to solve their own problems or getting help from somewhere else. Both organizations have to transform: IT needs to innovate customer experience with technology rather than through technology. Business teams need to understand what IT can do to support and innovate — which can only be accomplished through conversations, discussions and agreements. IT and business owners need to agree on service levels to avoid loss of productivity and gaps in expectations.”

For more on the report, which includes a range of best practices for IT and business engagement, register here.

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