The majority of European business leaders do not believe that IT is a facilitator for achieving their business priorities.
Market research firm Vanson Bourne questioned 650 business and IT leaders across Europe - with a third of them based in the UK - and found that 72 percent of the business leaders had no faith in IT helping them to hit their business targets.
In addition, two-thirds of the IT leaders acknowledged the lack of faith, with 67 percent saying they do not believe "that the business considers IT systems a help".
In the survey executives cited improving customer service and engagement (70 percent), cutting costs (70 percent) and being more productive by "doing more with less" (67 percent) as their top priorities for 2012.
The majority of business leaders (92 percent) said they would like to see improvements made to the way their business functions to drive productivity, including improving employee productivity and empowerment (74 percent), information system integration (71 percent) and collaboration between departments (68 percent).
However, most business decision-makers (65 percent) do not feel that IT is helping them make the changes they require. Interestingly the vast majority of IT leaders recognised that their systems are not good enough, with 80 percent reporting that their IT is not performing well with regards to areas such as managing unplanned customer interactions (45 percent), gaining a single view of the business need (44 percent) and bringing data onto mobile devices (43 percent).
Projects taking longer than planned (36 percent), the inflexibility and insularity of business systems (27 percent) and getting IT to absorb and react in a timescale that matches expectations (17 percent) are the key challenges cited by senior business leaders.
IT and business leaders agreed that they do not work collaboratively on projects and priorities, demonstrating a lack of transparency and understanding between IT and business. That lack of collaboration has led to 23 percent of business leaders bypassing IT altogether and adopting cloud based solutions.
IT leaders recognise this with more than half (56 percent) believing part of the business has already adopted cloud-based solutions, and 42 percent believing they have done so because they need the systems up and running quickly.
Over half (53 percent) of IT leaders using business process management systems considered themselves "helpful" within their business, compared with just 31 percent of non-BPM users.
The survey was sponsored by BPM specialist Cordys. Art Landro, CEO of Cordys, said: "For IT there was a small group of businesses for which the situation is more positive - those using BPM technology to make real step changes."