Are business leaders holding their organisations back from embracing the future of work?

New research commissioned by Fuze, a cloud-based unified communications platform, suggests that IT leaders are keen to drive digital transformation but senior executives are holding back progress by placing too much emphasis on IT departments simply reducing costs and “keeping the lights on”.

Discussing the changing dynamics in the workplace, Fuze noted that the new generation of workers are digital natives who have different expectations for technology, while older generations have established processes and their own set of expectations. These different attitudes can lead to internal conflict as teams work together and learn each other’s preferences.

At the same time, the workforce is becoming increasingly distributed as technology allows more employees to work away from the traditional office space. But that’s not to say the workplace will disappear; the office itself is also changing to support greater collaboration, mirroring the technological changes affecting how people engage with one another.

IT success is a critical factor in creating the future of work that businesses envision, says Fuze, but IT teams are having to juggle technological advancements and top-down pressure to maintain productivity and fast-track innovation.

Fuze’s new report, Breaking Barriers 2020: How CIOs are Shaping the Future of Work, is based on global research carried out with 900 IT leaders and 6,600 workers, as well as 3,300 teenagers aged 15-18 in order to bring fresh perspectives.

The survey found that 93% of IT leaders believe digital transformation should be a critical part of their roles and 47% want board-level executives to measure the IT function on its ability to innovate for the business. At the moment, 44% of IT leaders are measured on cost cutting, with the average IT department expected to reduce expenditure by 12% over the next five years.

Meanwhile, IT teams have very little time to spend on planning for the future: they currently spend 83% of their time managing IT platforms and resolving user issues, and only 11% on planning future innovations.

Derek Yoo, co-founder and CTO of Fuze, commented: “IT leaders are dealing with a complex working environment, balancing the demands of multiple generations in the workplace while navigating the challenges of operational responsibilities, budget pressures and customer expectations. Yet today’s IT leaders also understand this presents a fantastic opportunity to take the lead in shaping the future of work.

“IT leaders are actively championing innovative approaches to meet the expectations of today’s employees and want the business to hold them accountable to delivering transformational shifts that evolve the role of the IT department.”

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