IT acts as consultant while finance, sales executives evaluate and purchase tech

Dive Brief:

  • Business leaders in finance, marketing, sales, logistics and other areas are playing a growing role in the evaluation, purchase and use of technology solutions, according to a report released Tuesday by CompTIA.
  • Forty-five percent of respondents to the survey said ideas about technology come from areas of the organization other than IT; 36% said more executives are involved in IT decision making, and 52% said other business units besides IT paid for IT purchases in the last year. The survey included 675 U.S. businesses.
  • There is no denying the value and experience CIOs and information technology teams bring to the process, but the results also show the shift to tech as a "strategic asset," said Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA in a press release. 

Dive Insight:

As tech expands into more areas of business, it makes sense that the people involved in those areas want to be involved in tech evaluation and purchasing decisions. IT plays a critical role in helping guide other areas of the business about tech, and for good reason. When IT is not involved, business units may purchase technologies that are less secure and which could even put the enterprise at risk.

A recent report from International Data Corporation found IT spending by non-IT business units will reach $609 billion worldwide in 2017, an increase of 5.9% over 2016. By 2020, IDC expects business unit technology spending to nearly equal that of the IT organization. With that level of investment on the line, knowledgeable, experienced people across the company will participate in the decision making.

The shift in the way IT is evaluated and purchased is also affecting those that sell technology. For those organizations, it means a whole new set of potential customers to tap, which could also require them to focus their sales techniques less on technical specs and more on practical applications.

Filed Under: IT Strategy Leadership & Careers
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