Are senior business leaders holding back tech adoption?

New research suggests IT managers feel senior leaders in their organisations are holding back the adoption of new technology, even when it could have a positive impact on their business.

The study, conducted on behalf of global cloud communications provider 8×8, by the Institute of Directors compared the views of mid-level ‘hands on’ IT managers with those of the senior directors across more than 260 UK businesses.

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The research exposes a suspicion, held by 45% of IT managers, that senior business leaders hold back technology for reasons of ‘self-preservation’, whereby they are reluctant to embrace new tech that will disrupt their own position or the status quo within their organisations.

The findings reveal that IT managers are far less optimistic than senior directors when asked if their organisation makes full use of the latest technology, with just 34% believing they do, compared with 49% of c-suite respondents.

‘Too Wary’

Overall, 62% of IT managers say UK businesses are too wary when it comes to adopting new technology, such as cloud communications and only 56% think the senior team in their business invests sufficient resources to stay up to date with the latest technology.

IT managers are also more likely to feel insufficient budget is directed toward technology implementation (35%) than senior business leaders (20%).

Kevin Scott-Cowell, UK MD of 8×8 commented on the findings: “We frequently hear anecdotal evidence that IT managers face significant opposition from senior leaders when it comes to adopting new technologies such as cloud communications – this research suggests this is something which is widely felt.  Certainly, many senior leaders fear replacing expensive legacy IT systems that they have invested in. Their reluctance to do so in order to preserve the status quo can be damaging to businesses who are losing out on the many benefits to staff productivity and, ultimately, the potential for business growth.”

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Lysanne Currie, Group Editor and Head of Content Publishing, IoD said, “Senior business leaders obviously bring vast experience and decision-making skills. The results of this study suggest that mid-level IT managers – and the wider technology community – needs to do more to explain the benefits of embracing newer forms of technology, such as a shift to cloud communications, and talk the language which the Board and Directors understand.”

Read the full report in detail here

(Infographic: 8X8)