SEATTLE, June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- More than a third (37%) of workplace projects have been blocked by company management due to fear, according to new *research commissioned by Mozy® by EMC, the world's most trusted provider of online data backup and access solutions. This mentality of fear is hindering innovation, as decision makers are reluctant to embrace technologies that could help their business.
"Business and technology leaders need to be enablers, not roadblocks, if they want their companies to succeed in difficult economic circumstances," said Gytis Barzdukas, Senior Director of Product Management at Mozy. "A little healthy skepticism about activities that could be hazardous and a desire to not make errors is good sense, but when that becomes an inhibiting fear or a dogged refusal to embrace new things in spite of good evidence for adopting change, then it becomes an issue."
Red tape strangles innovation
In addition, the research found that 57% of IT decision makers believe that company management are the most fearful of new technology implementations and more than half (55%) stated that their company perceives the adoption of technology as a risk.
"Through their own admission and definition, a full 84% of employees are already bringing their own irrational fears to the workplace; they need direction from those who understand technology and business to encourage them out of their shells – not to stifle them with their own fears," said Barzdukas.
Rules set by IT departments are also hindering innovation with 52% of people admitting that they have not been able to do something that would help their job due to limitations imposed on them. In addition, 24% of ideas generated to improve businesses are delayed for so long by the IT department that they fail to deliver results. That being said, the survey also showed that the way to overcome this perceived risk and put a project into action is by demonstrating a return on investment.
It is not just IT departments holding projects back, but an institutionalized fear of trying new things at work. Fifteen percent of all respondents stated that no one in their organization takes risks, and less than half (46%) of workers questioned said their business actively embraces change. One in three (34%) also haven't submitted any ideas at work and only 17% of respondents have had an idea at work that has been put into practice.
Creating the right buzz
What businesses are afraid of is changing and can be irrational, as demonstrated by the influence of buzzwords on technology adoption. "Cloud" was the second worst buzzword to add to a budget request two years ago, with almost a third of IT managers saying "cloud" was a turn-off for their company management when submitting a proposal. Now, nearly twice as many people say that describing a project as "cloud" would help to get them funding as opposed to hindering their bid (39% "help," compared to 21% "hinder"). In addition, 17% of IT managers say "as a service" hinders their pitch compared to just 5% for "on demand." Conversely, 53% say "on demand" helps their proposals compared with 15% for "as a service."
"Irrational fears associated with innovation, collaboration and using new technology like cloud services hold back success," said Barzdukas. "Signing a project off, or rejecting it, based on preconceptions and buzzwords mean that businesses are missing out. To succeed, businesses need to look at the actual benefits and risks of innovation – and stay up to speed with new developments that make adoption safer."
Additional key findings
More information can be found at www.mozy.com/blog/news/fears, including:
- 31% said company management was very skeptical about the cloud and only 10% had no qualms at all
- 39% stated that their organizations wait until others have embraced something new before adopting it
- Skepticism of the cloud by management is driven by security concerns (38%) according to IT managers
- There's a mismatch between perception and reality. Although 90% of people felt that the cloud could be safer, a service like Mozy offers all of the features required by 99% of respondents in order for them to feel that their data was safe in the cloud.
The measures that need to be in place for people to feel comfortable that their data is protected from theft when using cloud services include:
- Encryption – 55%
- Independent certification – 38%
- Alarmed premises – 31%
- Protection systems for fire, floods and earthquakes – 31%
- Dispersion of data across different racks and servers – 25%
- Biometric entry barriers – 17%
Research was commissioned by Mozy and conducted by Vanson Bourne in May 2013. The survey questioned 550 IT decision makers and 1,250 office workers across the US, UK, Ireland, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Respondents work within organizations with 50 – 1,000 employees.
US – 150 IT decision makers, 300 office workers
UK – 100 IT decision makers, 250 office workers
Ireland – 50 IT decision makers, 100 office workers
France – 100 IT decision makers, 250 office workers
Germany – 100 IT decision makers, 250 office workers
The Netherlands – 50 IT decision makers, 100 office workers
Mozy by EMC is the world's most trusted provider of cloud backup and access, with more than 6 million customers, including more than 100,000 businesses, backing up 90 petabytes of information to its multiple data centers around the globe. Wholly owned by EMC Corporation since 2007, Mozy is an essential component in the EMC backup and recovery solutions portfolio. More information can be found at mozy.com.
Mozy is a registered trademark of Mozy, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE EMC Corporation