IT Has Put Us on the Map

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Byline: KATIE TAYLOR

What sets growing businesses apart from those that are stagnating istheir attitude to IT, how much they spend on it and the way they use it,according to a report by Microsoft and Durham Business School.

The study of 400 businesses employing between one and 110 people found thatcompared with non-growth businesses, the enterprises with positive growth weremore likely to tap into a diverse range of sources of IT advice and have agreater appreciation of the benefits of IT.

Bill Snaith, director of the Management Development Centre at Durham BusinessSchool, says: 'Non-growth companies tend to use IT to support internalprocesses, such as reporting and generating data about staff productivity.

'Growth companies are more outward-looking and will use IT to gatherintelligence about their marketplace, enable better customer engagement andallow staff to work flexibly.

'They are also better at finding the IT advice and expertise they need tosupport their technology-driven plans.' Growth companies are also more likelyto recognise the link between technology and competitive edge, with 33 per centsaying they have successfully gained a competitive advantage throughIT compared with only 20 per cent of non-growth companies. …