A recent study by shipIT in the Danish shipping industry indicate a lack of strategic IT focus.
The study, which was done across various shipping segments, concludes that only 53% has an agreed and written IT strategy.
However, what is interesting is that at the same time 89% respond that they have a dedicated IT budget.
So how does that correlate? How can you have a budget with no strategy supporting it?
Obviously, there will be companies where there is an IT strategy in peoples mind, but it has not been written down. However, it could lead to thinking that IT budgets are conservative and driven by short term initiatives only, and that the budget is done based on a simple auto pilot formula:
Last year’s budget + x% + any specific on-going projects => this year’s budget
To some that might just be perfectly fine, but it will for sure not put you in the forefront in today’s volatile market, where quick and correct decision processes are more critical than ever.
Another interesting finding is that for 58% of the respondents, IT reports to the CFO. No offence intended for CFO’s, but it could tend to make IT seen more as a cost, and less as a business enabler. For any company that wants to be on the forefront, a close link is needed between the business (expressed in the business strategy) and IT (expressed in the IT strategy).
While this is a Danish study, Danish shipping companies are normally known for being leaders in new technologies, so the picture is probably even more dominant in other parts of the World.
Conclusion is that IT is an area where you can differentiate from your competitors – and there is unrealized potential waiting for those that understand this.