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A majority of CIOs says the IT department continues to be seen first and foremost as a cost center in their companies (Photo: VW)

A mere 14% of German IT bosses say their companies have adopted agile working methods, according to a new study.

The main reason, 71% of them told IT service provider Citrix, is the aging infrastructure they were confronted with when they started their jobs. Another major factor was a lack of support from top management.

Many German companies continue to be relatively risk-averse, said 54% of CIOs interviewed for the study.

And one in three said his company was at risk because technology doesn’t perform reliably.

Oliver Ebel, Citrix area vice president for the German-speaking countries, said just swapping out older systems is no panacea. “Companies that really want to become agile will have to start with their culture,” he said in a press release. “Old structures and fixed hierarchies that hinder innovation should be rethought.”

In many companies, technologies are functioning well, but they are often not used properly, 39% of CIOs said. And 21 % of them said lengthy and complex decision-making processes were a problem in modernizing IT infrastructure.

Citrix also asked IT managers about their role in the company and found that one-fifth of them felt they were forced to handle too many operational tasks. And while 81% said IT is seen as an enabler of new business opportunities, 64% also said their operation continued to be seen in first instance as a cost center.

For the study, market researchers OnePoll, working on behalf of Citrix, interviewed 175 CIOs from German companies with more than 250 employees.