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Fujitsu warns recession leading over-cautious CIOS to restrict innovation

Increased need to justify investment causing lack of early adoption

September 29, 2009

Fujitsu Technology Solutions today warned that excessive caution amongst CIOs and IT directors could be hampering innovation as research showed that just one in 10 admits to taking an aggressive, early adopter approach to new technologies.

The IT leaders interviewed for the research admitted that in the current economic climate, very few are innovators and the vast majority labelled themselves as followers. Over half claimed they would not adopt a technology until it had proven successful in other installations. One in three (32%) said any technology would have to be “industry standard” before they even considered implementation within their company.

One of the respondents - a FTSE 350 retail company CIO - explained the reasoning behind this: “The larger, more stable companies cannot afford to be innovators as they might lose out competitively if implementations go wrong. Being a follower means that you can adopt the technologies with the knowledge that they are proven and being used by your competitors. IT heads are reluctant to be major innovators for fear of losing their jobs if it all goes wrong.”

Another retail company CIO added: “IT is naturally risk averse and likes to use tried and trusted technology because it impacts so many parts of the business. We have to use proven technologies otherwise the senior management team will not sanction the investment.”

This cautious approach is set against a backdrop of 38% of IT leaders being increasingly required to justify costs as budgets tighten. As a result the majority of IT leaders (79%) have focused their IT activities on cost reduction.

However, Fujitsu warns that in the current climate, seemingly bold moves need to be made in introducing new technology . These can often be the best way to drive efficiencies and cost reduction throughout the enterprise that give a competitive edge to the business .

Paul Parrish, UK managing director for Fujitsu Technology Solutions commented: “Companies face the dual challenge of cost saving and continued innovation against the backdrop of the worst economic climate for decades. Progress in some companies will undoubtedly stall in 2009 but for others, the recession will act as a catalyst for change. Forward-thinking businesses will find new ways to gain a lead over their competitors and move on relatively unscathed. Those that are able to harness the power of IT in the coming months will be fitter and leaner for the upturn when it inevitably comes.

“Experience shows that innovation pays big dividends. When we introduced PRIMERGY BladeFrame, it was considered a cutting-edge technology that some CIOs were cautious about introducing straightaway. However, innovative businesses seized the opportunity to introduce a new technology that promised to drive enormous efficiencies. They are still reaping the benefits and the competitive advantage it has given them. We are already seeing a similar pattern of interest and activity emerge with our new PRIMERGY BX900, so it is clear that innovation still creates interest.”

“There is some evidence to show that innovation will continue, albeit at a much reduced rate. Fifty per cent of IT leaders say that using older, inappropriate technology is currently impacting on their ability to reduce costs and therefore improve profit and competitive advantage. So it is likely that this will form the pool of those willing to experiment and innovate in order to improve cost reduction. However that still leaves a lot of CIOs exercising potentially excessive caution and risking getting left behind.”

About Fujitsu UK and Ireland

Fujitsu UK and Ireland is a leading IT systems, services and products company employing over 10,100 people with an annual revenue of £1.7 billion. Additionally, 1,900 people are employed by Fujitsu in its other UK operations. Its business is in enabling its customers to realise their objectives by exploiting information technology through its integrated product and service portfolio. This includes consulting, applications, systems integration, managed services and product for customers in the private and public sectors including retail, financial services, telecoms, government, defence and consumer sectors. For more information, please see:

Crawford Warnock

Phone: Phone: + 44 (0)20 7638 9571
E-mail: E-mail:
Company:Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Date: 29 September, 2009


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