New York — Most business and information technology executives in the United States expect IT expenditures to rise over the next three years, according to the results of an online survey released by consulting giant Accenture.

The study of more than 300 general business managers and IT executives of large U.S.-based companies found that 55 percent expect their organizations to increase their IT expenditures over the next three years, with just 10 percent expecting their organizations to decrease IT spending.

Among the 84 percent of respondents who reported that productivity at their companies had increased over the past several years, most identified IT-related factors as key to that increase.

Specifically, 83 percent cited “better use of technology” and 65 percent selected “the right amount of investment in technology” as reasons behind the boost in productivity.

However, the survey identified several areas where the business managers were disappointed in the effectiveness and impact of IT. Nearly half (47 percent) of business managers and 51 percent of IT executives said that their companies didn’t know how to make their technology organizations accountable for delivering real business value. In addition, 52 percent of business managers said that IT is under-delivering relative to what their companies spend.

According to the poll, managers and information technology execs at companies where alignment between IT expenditures and overall company goals was viewed as strong were much more likely than their counterparts at companies where alignment was viewed as weak to believe that overall and IT-based productivity have increased in the past few years (89 percent at “strong” companies versus 68 percent at “weak” ones). They were also more likely to engage their business units in creating IT budgets (71 percent versus 28 percent) and to believe that their companies are making the proper level of IT investment (58 percent versus 26 percent).

“Information technology can have an enormous impact on how well and how quickly a company can achieve its business goals, but it can only do so if IT investments are in tune with corporate priorities,” said Gary Curtis, managing partner of Accenture’s strategic information technology effectiveness practice. “The companies that are most successful in achieving their goals engage top management in the key IT investment decisions and create a culture in which business and IT executives collaborate extensively.”

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