IT's new role: driving business growth (not just efficiency)

A survey by The Economist reveals shifting attitudes on the role that IT plays inside organizations:
The survey showed the highest-performing companies - those who reported their financial performance was stronger than their industry peers - identified a different role for IT in key areas of their business. [...]

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".

In the survey 60 percent of respondents reported that 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.

But as of today, very few business respondents successfully collaborated 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).
Coming from a background in the retail industry, I can definitely agree, as retailers are looking to develop new business models based on omni-channel integration and digital interaction with consumers due to the strong growth and competition from e-commerce merchants.

I think this underscores a major shift that we will see over the coming years, acceptance of internal IT organizations as business partners rather than service providers and a more formal "seat at the decision-making table" directly influencing business decisions. This may result in complete restructuring of IT organization to better align with business units.