- UDAY S. KARMARKAR
- VANDANA MANGAL
The UCLA Business and Information Technologies (BIT) Survey is aimed at understanding and tracking the impacts of technologies on business practices. This report shows the longitudinal trends observed by comparing the findings from three surveys conducted in the United States in 2003–2004, 2004–2005, and 2005–2006.The subject group of each year's survey consisted of entities that could make technology management-related decisions (acquisition, implementation, and maintenance) independently. The survey was sent to Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and other senior officers; these officers were deemed to be the individuals most likely to be able to respond to the business and technology issues in the survey.The survey addressed the following issues:• Technology Adoption• Internal Organization• Forward-facing Relationships• Backward-facing Relationships• Business Results• Outsourcing and Offshoring• GlobalizationKey longitudinal trends are listed below:• Web and e-commerce, wireless hardware and software, security technologies (surveillance, third-party authentication, identity management solutions, biometrics and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID)), collaboration tools, networked storage, enterprise resource planning (ERP), and business intelligence all saw strong increases in their adoption over the three-year period in the United States, with web and wireless technologies reaching close to 90% adoption rates.• A time lag was observed between the hype and the actual adoption of a technology, as in the case of identity management solutions, RFID, and biometrics. Information and communication technologies (ICT) that were planned for the near future saw an increase in their adoption in the next year, a fact that added to the validity of the survey.• The internal organization changed in terms of its workforce with ICT adoption. Data from the survey supported this trend, namely that the following categories tended to increase over the three-year period of the survey: demand for intelligent systems by executives, telecommuting, teleconferencing, workers needing to retrain constantly, IT functions shifting from staff to line, and collaboration among workers.• Support for collaboration was observed in the longitudinal trends. The increasing use of collaboration tools as well as the strong increase in collaboration among workers especially in the third year survey support increasing collaboration with the adoption of ICT.• The internal organization also changed in terms of its structure. Organizations were becoming virtual and heterarchical. In addition, customer-interacting transactions were being monitored increasingly, and automated monitoring of productivity was increasing. However, incentives were not yet based on monitoring of productivity.• Companies rarely outsourced, and offshoring/BPO was lowest on the list of company budgets for all the three years. This latter statistic was surprising given the hype for and backlash on BPO a few years ago. One possibility for this low number is that companies did not accurately report on the extent of their BPO budgets for fear of backlash; another reason could be that the lag phenomenon observed for technology adoption may also exist for BPO but may be more drawn out than was observed for technologies. The type of companies that were part of the sample may have also played a role.• Among forward-facing or customer-interacting functions, content management of websites and marketing became increasingly automated over the survey's three-year period.• Among backward-facing or partner interacting functions, Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), e-payment, and e-procurement saw increasing adoption trends. However, the future or planned adoption for EDI experienced a decreasing trend, as did the adoption of e-payment. The planned adoption of XML continued to show increases.• Geographic reach was affected by proximity, language, cultural similarities, and cost.
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