There is a “clear link” between slow delivery of IT projects and lower business profitability, a study by the Economist Intelligence Unit has found.
The research, based on a survey of 1,125 IT professionals at companies worldwide, found that slow delivery was widespread, with more than a quarter of IT projects delivered late at nearly 50% of the companies surveyed.
In 57% of enterprises, no more than half of IT initiatives had produced positive business outcomes, the survey carried out on behalf of computer giant HP found. But more than six in 10 of those surveyed said their company would experience increased profitability if delivery of IT services and projects was faster.
Only 16% of those surveyed said all their IT initiatives in the past three years had produced the intended positive business results.
The research highlighted delayed product launches, loss of anticipated revenues and delays to planned cost savings as the main consequences of slow IT delivery.
Denis McCauley, director of global technology research at the Economist Intelligence Unit, said: “In business, speed is increasingly of the essence. It is cause for alarm then that so many of those surveyed deliver IT projects late.
"Companies that succeed in accelerating IT project and service delivery have a significant advantage, while those that do not may suffer at the hand of the competition.”
The study found a correlation between better IT delivery and a productive result. Higher than average IT service delivery was noted at the companies where more than three-quarters of IT initiatives had brought positive business outcome over the past three years.
The survey also showed that speeding up IT project delivery did not necessarily hit quality or adversely affect business results.
A clear definition of business requirements, greater investment in IT process automation and greater collaboration across IT functions were identified as the main factors behind faster project delivery.
Project over-runs were usually caused by changes to business priorities in the middle of the initiative and poor coordination between IT and business managers, the study found.