Fewer than 10% of organisations say their existing IT infrastructure is fully prepared to address the proliferation of mobile devices, social media, data analytics and cloud computing.

This is according to preliminary findings from an IBM study, IT Infrastructure Matters, based on responses from 750 CTOs, CIOs and other technology executives in 18 countries and 19 industries. Conducted by IBM’s Institute for Business Value, the research highlights infrastructure readiness, business and organisational challenges faced by enterprises as they grapple with the new era of IT.

According to the study, seven out of 10 organisations recognise that IT infrastructure plays an important role in enabling competitive advantage or optimising revenue and profit. The majority of respondents, 62%, plan to increase their IT infrastructure spend over the next 12 to 18 months.

The objective of the study is to better understand the major trends affecting IT infrastructure and the challenges organisations face with maintaining and upgrading existing technology, particularly as they prepare for new technological shifts. IBM is also examining the different ways organisations are using infrastructure to compete more effectively in the marketplace.

“In our discussions with technical leaders, we are seeing that the historic shifts transforming business and technology are creating a greater need and urgency to deploy a computing infrastructure that can support their business results,” says Tom Rosamilia, senior vice-president of IBM Systems & Technology Group and IBM Integrated Supply Chain.

“Today’s innovative companies are recognising that the right infrastructure can deliver real competitive advantage and fuel top-line growth.”

According to the preliminary study, 46% of respondents said they face challenges with efficiently and securely moving large amounts of data between one geography and another. Another 43% report challenges with maintaining a secure environment, and 43% also say they face constraints with the ability to cut costs and improve efficiencies in their global storage environment.

Despite the stated importance of IT infrastructure, only 22% of companies surveyed have a well-defined enterprise IT infrastructure strategy roadmap. Complete findings from the overall research study will be made publically available in July 2014.