Survey Links IT, Financial Performance

If your company emphasizes and invests in information technology, it’s likely to be a better financial performer. That’s the conclusion of a new study out this week sponsored by Juniper Networks.

In the company’s study of 560 companies, 25 percent of respondents reported on average 30 percent higher revenue growth. Among the keys to their success, according to Juniper, is that they are more likely to adopt new technologies and place a higher degree of importance on technology.

The so called “dynamic leaders” in the survey work under demanding IT performance requirements. They are 30 percent less tolerant than others of technology outages greater than 30 minutes. Mobility is also a factor, with dynamic leaders 30 percent more likely to employ mobile workers and 40 percent more likely to deploy wireless local area networks .

Among the other tools that dynamic leaders leverage ostensibly for their companies ultimate financial gain are: IP-VPN’s (50 percent more likely than others) and MPLS (40 percent more likely).

When it comes to security, the dynamic leaders were 30 percent more likely to have a comprehensive strategy as opposed to a piecemeal approach.

According to Juniper Networks, which provides IT networking services and products, the research is proof that there is a return on investment in information technology. Kim Perdikou, associate general manager of the infrastructure business team at Juniper Networks, told that finding the correlation between financial growth and use of IT was the biggest surprise.

“We did not set out to prove this theory, or any other theory for that matter. Rather, we conducted the survey to gain more insight into how enterprise buyers think and feel about IT,” Perdikou said. “It was therefore quite exciting when we saw a clear pattern emerging: those companies who obviously viewed IT as a strategic enabler of their business were also those with the highest revenue growth.”

“The other interesting fact was that this phenomenon of the dynamic leader was not limited to any particular company size, geography or industry sector,” Perdikou added.

IT is not always a positive though; it can also potentially be a drain on a company’s financial performance as well.

“The survey results definitely suggest that the fundamental approach to IT is what makes the biggest difference,” Perdikou explained. “The dynamic leaders identified in our research used IT strategically in support of business goals, rather than viewing it as a mere cost to the business.”

Survey respondents indicated that their primary motivation when looking at IT projects and investment was increasing productivity.

“They were always looking to improve upon the status quo, and were therefore open to newer technologies and far more likely to choose the best product for the job rather than standardizing on a particular vendor,” Perdikou said. “They also had more IT projects on the go at any one time, suggesting that they take a “little but often” approach – dividing projects into manageable chunks that provide demonstrable benefit in the short rather than long term.”

Juniper isn’t the only group offering research that connects ROI to IT investments. Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) spokesperson Steven Ostrowski told internetnews that some of what Juniper found is also consistent with findings of other research and anecdotal information that CompTIA has collected from its members.

“We found that there is real, measurable ROI when IT departments are trained in current technologies,” Ostrowski said. “The ROI comes in the form of such things as less network downtime, more efficient customer support, etc.”

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