Business and IT lead separate lives

Although they haven’t yet filed for divorce, the marriage between business and Web technology is far from a harmonious one, a new study suggests.

Toronto-based consulting firm Towers Perrin recently released the results from its inaugural e-Track survey in October. Conducted this past summer, the study polled 232 executives across North America and found that just 15 per cent of respondents felt their companies had fully met their expectations from Web technology.

This number plummeted to four per cent when the focus was specifically on results from Web-based HR activities, Towers Perrin said.

Despite disappointing results and pressures to contain costs, the survey also found that two-thirds of respondents will maintain or increase investments in Web technology.

Less than a quarter of respondents felt their company would reduce tech investments, particularly in areas where online technologies could potentially produce efficiency and cost-saving benefits.

A successful marriage between business and technology should be based on a comprehensive implementation, said Minaz Lalani, Canadian e-business group leader at Towers Perrin. “When companies got into these Web projects, I think they did not clearly articulate what the expectations were from it. They did more what I call qualitative analysis,” Lalani said.

“Project plans were based on getting something put up there – online sales channels, customer relationship tools (but) what was missing was a quantitative set of metrics.”

The survey also suggests the move to Web technologies is placing an increased burden on workers, with 84 per cent of respondents agreeing that the current work environment creates stress for employees and managers that impacts work performance.