Three out of four IT leaders say are limited in their ability to align their IT department's objectives with business strategy, despite almost 80 percent of them believing they should be "strategic as well as technical".
Cloud computing provider ControlCircle commissioned research among 250 IT decision makers and found that 78 percent of them believed they were being hindered by legacy infrastructure.
In addition, 53 percent said the proliferation of multiple infrastructures and applications, along with their associated monitoring tools, was having an adverse impact on service levels and availability.
On average, less than half of IT budgets are being spent on business growth and transformation projects combined, whilst over half is spent on IT operations, or the day-to-day running of the department.
Nearly half experienced weekly IT availability issues, 21 percent hourly or daily availability issues, and 48 percent hourly, daily or weekly issues.
"With so much effort going into 'keeping the lights on', and almost all businesses experiencing regular availability issues, it is hardly surprising that IT leaders are often unable to fulfill their ambitions," said Carmen Carey, managing director at ControlCircle.
Three quarters of respondents also believed a lack of IT resources - budget and skilled people - was hindering their operations.
The changing ownership of IT projects was also reflected in the fact that 43 percent of IT project budgets were being drawn from other departments, respondents said.
Security (65 percent), the cloud (36 percent) and compliance (34 percent) were the top three challenges for respondents.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.