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Global Survey: IT Departments Making Companies More Efficient, yet Not Driving Business Growth

Economist Intelligence Unit Research, Sponsored by Juniper Networks, Reveals Highest-Performing Companies More Likely to Collaborate With IT to Develop New Products and Identify New Market Opportunities

SUNNYVALE, CA -- (Marketwire) -- 12/05/12 -- Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), the industry leader in network innovation, and the Economist Intelligence Unit released findings today from a recent global survey, which revealed that over half of businesses surveyed primarily rely on IT departments to increase efficiency of their operations. But IT is largely falling short of expectations to drive business growth in new areas. The survey of 474 respondents spanned Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the United States. Fifty-one percent of respondents are C-level and board members and the remaining are senior executives and managers.

The survey showed, that of all respondents, the highest-performing companies -- those who report their financial performance is stronger than their industry peers -- identify a different role for IT in key areas of their business. Compared to their peers,

  • 20 percent more of the high-performing companies say technology played a very strong role in their organization's financial performance
  • 11 percent more of the high-performing companies strongly agree that the IT function can support business growth by identifying new market opportunities
  • Eight percent more of the high-performing companies say the IT function is very closely involved in helping develop new products and services

Today, businesses are rushing to keep up with exponential data growth and meet fast-changing market needs for digital services. Financial institutions are delivering mobile banking applications while gaming companies are rebuilding their game catalogues as online services. As companies rush to deliver these new services, IT has an opportunity to play a role advancing these new business initiatives.

While most IT departments are not yet widely seen driving business growth, the companies surveyed predict the role of IT will begin shifting from tools of efficiency to engines of growth. Sixty percent of respondents report IT will be very closely or somewhat closely involved in helping to develop new products or services for the company over the next three years.

Importantly, survey respondents predicted the top technology trend that would impact the competitiveness of their business was collaboration and information sharing through networks.

Additional Key Findings Include:
IT Perceptions and Expectations

  • When asked about the IT functions' main strengths, the top response (42 percent) was "efficient execution of general business processes."
  • Today, one in five (20 percent) respondents report that IT is only somewhat prepared or very unprepared to contribute to improved business growth.
  • Very few business respondents successfully collaborate with IT on strategic business imperatives such as identifying new market opportunities (nine percent), identifying new innovations (six percent) or developing a competitive strategy (five percent).

Disruptive Technologies

  • Global respondents predict the top technology investments over the next three years will be business information analysis (33 percent), followed by business process management (31 percent), cloud computing/virtualization (29 percent) and mobile devices (26 percent).
  • Respondents report the top technology trends influencing the competitiveness of their organization over the next three years include collaboration and information sharing through networks (31 percent), the widespread availability of mobile devices (31 percent), and the ubiquitous nature of connected devices and integrated systems (27 percent).

Supporting Quotes:
"We must embrace disruptive technologies such as cloud and mobile that are propelling business growth to create an opportunity for IT to step out of a support function into a more strategic role. By creating new products and services and identifying new market opportunities, IT can truly transform and technologically enable the business."
- Bask Iyer, senior vice president and chief information officer, Juniper Networks

"Businesses still view the IT function in the traditional role of improving process efficiency. However, to really take advantage of an increasingly digitized world, companies need to recognize the potential value of IT as a collaborative partner in identifying new opportunities."
- Rozina Ali, deputy editor, Economist Intelligence Unit

Additional Resources:

About the Survey
Juniper Networks commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to survey 474 IT and business executives from Germany, Japan, the U.K. and the United States in order to understand how the role of IT in business is changing to address the challenges and opportunities of exponential scale.

About the Economist Intelligence Unit
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the world's leading resource for economic and business research, forecasting and analysis. It provides accurate and impartial intelligence for companies, government agencies, financial institutions and academic organisations around the globe, inspiring business leaders to act with confidence since 1946. EIU products include its flagship Country Reports service, providing political and economic analysis for 195 countries, and a portfolio of subscription-based data and forecasting services. The company also undertakes bespoke research and analysis projects on individual markets and business sectors. More information is available at www.eiu.com or follow us on www.twitter.com/theeiu.

About Juniper Networks
Juniper Networks is in the business of network innovation. From devices to data centers, from consumers to cloud providers, Juniper Networks delivers the software, silicon and systems that transform the experience and economics of networking. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on Twitter and Facebook.

Juniper Networks is a registered trademark of Juniper Networks, Inc. in the United States and other countries. The Juniper Networks logo is a trademark of Juniper Networks, Inc. All other trademarks, service marks, registered trademarks, or registered service marks are the property of their respective owners.

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