ILOG has announced the findings from research conducted by Vanson Bourne into UK and German financial services department heads’ attitudes to business-IT alignment within their organisations. The survey, which compared opinion in Europe’s primary financial capitals, found that despite recent widespread discussion of service oriented architecture (SOA) within the IT community, business users still need to be educated on how SOA can positively affect their day-to-day job. Eighty-nine per cent of department heads in UK financial services firms have never heard of the concept, compared to 68% of German financial services respondents surveyed. Of those surveyed in the UK who had heard of SOA, 63% were not aware of the benefits of adopting such an approach. In Germany, however, there was a clearer understanding of the potential benefits of an SOA strategy with only 5% of department heads who had heard of SOA unaware of the advantages it can bring to business. These findings were part of a broader survey into business IT alignment, which found that overall German financial services firms are racing ahead of their UK counterparts when it comes to aligning business objectives with IT. Fifty-one per cent of UK respondents have a dedicated plan for how IT should support the business objectives within their department, but that figure is compared to 77% in Germany. As a result, it is perhaps not surprising to find that 40% of UK representatives polled did not believe that the day-to-day operations between their department and IT were well-aligned compared with only 14% in Germany.
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