IT Is Key To Competitive Edge, Study Says



More than half of the fastest-growing U.S. companies claim to have an IT advantage over their competitors, according to study results released today by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The payoff for companies that embrace technology: a 45% higher composite growth rate over the past five years, the study says.

PricewaterhouseCoopers surveyed 436 CEOs in U.S. organizations with annual revenue between $1 million and $50 million. These CEOs almost universally acknowledged IT as being important to their businesses, with 80% regarding IT as "extremely" or "very" important. The companies represented by that 80% saw 72% greater revenue growth than the companies whose CEOs rated IT as "highly" important, the study says. However, less than half of the CEOs surveyed see the Internet as an important part of their business.

Top technologies implemented by companies participating in the survey include financial-management systems (installed by 57%), sales-information systems (52%), and sales or customer-service systems (37%), according to the survey.

Chief barriers to IT adoption include security concerns (named by 84% of the CEOs, compared with 77% two years ago), and inadequately trained staff (26% this year, 48% two years ago), the study says.

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