Lisa DiCarlo: A new study by the white-shoe consultancy Bain & Co. finds that, while 70% of senior executives at large corporations agree that information technology is relevant to growth, 60% say IT is actually inhibiting their growth efforts. Further, the perception is affecting tech spending.

The problem, according to Bain, is that many companies are simply not aligned in a way that makes it possible to use IT as a growth driver. Companies fail to coordinate their business and IT goals. Two-thirds of respondents said their existing technologies either didn’t deliver as promised or were underexploited. Others said so-called “legacy” technology (jargon for old stuff that’s been built in-house) lacks the flexibility to keep up with current business and tech trends.

David Shpilberg, head of Bain’s global IT practice, was not surprised by the results. He says the root of the “broken dialogue” between IT and business executives goes back several decades, when companies used technology to report and analyze what had already happened.

Some companies, like Wal-Mart are a prime example of large companies using technology to help them figure out what will happen. In this case, automatically tracking inventory and ordering more in real time.

Technology decisions are business decisions, and need to be made by business people who understand technology and how it can drive growth. But Bain’s study found that business executives are not getting enough literacy about technology.

Indeed, 203 of the 359 executives surveyed said that the lack of information was a key reason they felt that IT was a growth inhibitor. As a result, some companies are dialing back tech spending.

More here.