‘User-Determined Computing’ Redefines Information Technology Priorities, Accenture Survey Finds

Innovation Suffers as Leaders Court Wall Street Instead of Main Street

NEW YORK; Jan. 15, 2008 - When making decisions about investments in information technology (IT), organizations must shift their mindset from Wall Street to Main Street in order to retain and win new customers, according to the findings of a global study of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).

The Accenture survey results indicate that executive and technology leadership – under pressure from investment analysts and other Wall Street observers – are undertaking superficial improvements in their IT systems rather than making fundamental changes to meet the growing demands of users.

Users — including consumers, business customers and, in the case of government, citizens — are demanding more because of their ever-increasing familiarity and comfort level with technology, an emerging phenomenon that Accenture has called “user-determined computing.”

The trend has the potential to create a dilemma in 2008 for CEOs and CIOs evaluating IT investments, the survey found. “CEOs and CIOs must decide between offering technology-literate customers new products and services that are truly unique, versus receiving a short round of applause from investment fund managers for holding the line on spending,” said Bob Suh, chief technology strategist, Accenture.

The study also indicates that the chasm between Wall Street and Main Street is wide and deep, with little evidence that companies and organizations are working to close it. At the same time, low-cost, emerging-market multinationals are establishing a completely new set of expectations around user experience, participation, mobile access and real-time responsiveness.

Similarly, the study found that user-determined computing also has implications for employees who use technology every day to do their jobs. “Consumer technology is now outpacing enterprise technology, leaving employees frustrated by the inadequacy of the technology they’re using at the office,” said Suh. “Consequently, employees are introducing their personal technologies into the workplace, even if the organization does not support them.”

The study, based on detailed online self-assessments of the senior-most IT executive at nearly 300 Fortune 1000 companies in North America, Europe, Asia Pacific and South America — with combined annual revenue of $5.3 trillion — yielded multiple findings that illustrate the depth of the chasm between Wall Street and Main Street:

High Performers

Another survey objective was exploring how large organizations manage their IT investments and to identify the common underlying behaviors and characteristics of “high performers.” Some findings related to high performers, which Accenture defines as those that consistently outperform their peers in revenue, profit growth and total shareholder return, include:

About the Survey Since 2005, Accenture has been studying performance drivers in managing and executing information technology. This global research program examines how the world’s largest businesses and public-sector organizations are managing their IT investment and processes across the fundamental IT functions. Many studies measure and report on information technology investment trends. But they don’t examine the quality of the spending. How is IT performing today? How will it perform in the future? The answers to these questions can provide the true indicator of the value of information technology and its role in helping organizations perform at higher levels.

To date, more than 700 Chief Information Officers in 22 countries have participated in this ongoing research.

About Accenture Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Combining unparalleled experience, comprehensive capabilities across all industries and business functions, and extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, Accenture collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments. With more than 175,000 people in 49 countries, the company generated net revenues of US$19.70 billion for the fiscal year ended Aug. 31, 2007. Its home page is www.accenture.com.

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Contacts: Ed Trapasso

Anthony Hatter
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