Maybe we’d all be happier if we lived in Europe. A study from IDC this week suggested that there really isn’t much conflict between IT departments and business managers after all. The highlights from IDC’s European Vertical Market Survey said that “business managers are quite satisfied with their CIOs. The most important message that they want to impart to their IT people is a positive one.”

This is in pretty stark contrast to a story we published in ComputerWorld a few weeks ago based on an Info-Tech study that showed the gap between IT and business growing wider.

What I found interesting is the IDC stats about the level of involvement business managers say they have in IT. To wit:

“The majority of business managers (64%) spend a significant amount of time on IT to support business operations. Sectors where the IT component of the business is the highest are those where the collaboration between business and IT managers is the greatest. In the transport/communications/utilities sector more than half of business managers spend more than 25% of their time dealing with IT. In the manufacturing sector this increases to higher than 40%.”

It would be nice if this were defined a little further. For instance, does time spent on IT mean helping CIOs or IT managers plan and develop new business-oriented technology projects? Does it simply mean the amount of time they spend using IT equipment, or perhaps more specifically dealing with problems associated with it? The next step would be looking at how much the reverse is true — what percentage of their time IT execs, for example, are spending on marketing, finance or operational activities.