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IT departments still scared of change and potential downtime despite growing budgets

A new piece of research has found that while IT budgets may have grown over the last year, companies are still holding back from making changes in IT policy due to a lack of resources, and a fear of possible downtime.

Software testing and quality experts SQS conducted said research at the World Congress for Software Quality last month, and found that fear was the biggest barrier to change for IT departments.

While the benefits of staying on (or near) the cutting-edge of IT are clear – a YouGov survey found that 95 per cent of companies saw technology as important when it comes to the running of their business – the upheaval involved in major IT changes, and the risk therein seemingly outweighs those benefits.

Resource limitations and lack of requisite skills are also obstacles to IT change, with 60 per cent of tech leaders saying they have experienced a skills shortage in terms of keeping pace with rival organisations.

SQS advises an agile approach, and breaking down IT projects into smaller more manageable chunks.

Related: How to alleviate the biggest challenges faced by IT departments

David Rigler, director of UK retail and manufacturing at SQS, said: "Technology change will inevitably invoke fear, uncertainty and doubt within IT teams who are already struggling to maintain the status quo and manage the current volume of change, without even contemplating such a radical change. Putting quality assurance at the heart of any project will make the task less daunting by ensuring key delivery milestones are tested at each stage to deliver a successful project with no nasty surprises at go-live."

Failure to change, of course, leads to even bigger risks in being left behind by competitors who don't have outmoded systems.

Read more: Constant change is the "new norm" in IT - Embrace it