When it comes to technology, UK CIOs and IT directors consider middle management and employees as the group most resistant to change, according to research released by J D Edwards.
Just under a fifth (17%) of those surveyed, listed board level executives as the most resistant to change within their organisation. Middle management and employees (both 29%) were listed as the levels most resistant to change. The survey, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne, was based on a sample of one hundred chief information officers and IT directors in the UK.
"Technology has often been blamed as a barrier to change when in reality, particularly when implementing new internal systems and collaborating with partners and customers, people are the most resistant to changing the way things are done," explains Crosbie Burns, UK managing director of J D Edwards. "If an organisation is undertaking a new technology implementation, it must be designed to improve the way a company does business and not be technology for technology's sake."
What drives change?
The survey also covers the biggest causes of change within an organisation. Nearly half (44%) of respondents said that long term business planning was the most significant driver of change. Another 21% listed cost savings as the biggest cause of change and 10% cited technology. Just 6% said that competitor activity was most likely to be the cause. Just under a quarter of CIOs in companies with annual revenues between 50m and 250m said that a focus on customer retention was the company's biggest change during the economic downturn.
The survey also reveals that larger companies (more than 250m revenue annually) have been affected to a greater extent by cost controls than their smaller competitors during the economic downturn. Some 78% of those in the higher revenue bracket said that a greater emphasis on cost control had been the biggest single change within their organisation this year, compared to 46% in the smaller bracket.
What are the barriers?
Cost emerged as the biggest single obstacle to change. More than half of those surveyed (51%) listed cost as the biggest single obstacle, above employees (24%), technology (16%), partners and suppliers (6%) and shareholders (3%).
The change research project by J D Edwards follows on from previous similar surveys which examined trends in the CRM market, IT budgets, collaborative commerce and supply chain.