To study the dynamics occurring in the IT function, KPMG’s Canadian Advisory practice commissioned a survey from Ipsos Reid in the last quarter of 2005. One senior respondent was qualified and interviewed from each of 254 companies. Each respondent had to be a senior decision-maker within the company in either an IT or business executive capacity.

When asked to rank a wish list of needs with respect to the IT function, 58% chose ‘enhance user satisfaction’ as something they would like to see, only three percentage points behind the leading need, ‘lower costs’, and one point behind the second-leading need, ‘eliminate redundancies’. The need to enhance user experience with IT was most pronounced in very large companies (1000+); 63% of such companies expressed this need, and in the services industry group 64% of very large companies put it forward (See figure 1).

A follow-up survey of senior IT and business decision-makers was conducted in early 2006 (See figure 2). When respondents were asked to rank specific factors about their internal IT performance, ‘IT systems up time’ ranked first at 88%, ‘Operational service level achieved’ ranked second at 72%, and ‘Internal customer satisfaction’ ranked third at 69%. The areas ranked lowest were ‘Maturity of IT processes’ at 17%, and ‘Percentage of projects delivered on time, on budget and to specification’ at 16%.

Yvon Audette, KPMG’s Canadian service leader for IT Effectiveness, interprets these results as follows: “The findings clearly show that expectations for the IT function are rising, but they are not always articulated well and the process of change can be a rocky one. It helps when IT departments take the lead to engage the rest of the organization. Everyone gets more of what they want, and a proactive approach can also help the IT department control its own destiny.”

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada