Who Has the Control? The IT Spending Control Shift

ComputerWorld recently released a report titled, “CIOs Still Control IT Spending” that investigates the shift in tech spending from CIOs to business units. While the majority of decisions still lie with CIOs, a trend is expected to spread over the next few years that will see much of that buying power shifted or shared with business units.

“CIOs still have the last word over most IT spending, but over time they will work more closely with business units on buying decisions, a Forrester Research survey finds.

Only 6.3 percent of new technology purchases in the U.S. were made and implemented solely by business units in 2013, according to the report’s author, Forrester vice president and principal analyst Andrew Bartels. Some 9 percent of spending involved technology the business unit chose but the CIO’s team implemented and managed.

However, ‘the ideal tech-buying process is one in which the business and the CIO’s team work together to identify a need, find and fund a solution, choose the right vendor or vendors, implement it, and manage it,’ Bartels wrote in the report. ‘We estimate that more than a third of tech purchases will fit that profile by 2015.’

Moreover, the share of tech purchases the CIO’s group ‘primarily or exclusively makes’ will drop from 55 percent to 47 percent by 2015, Bartels added.”

The article is quick to point out that the process of purchasing technology is not a simple one, which must be taken into account.

“Still, ‘pundits who make sweeping statements about tech spending shifting from the CIO’s department to the business fail to appreciate the complex process involved in buying and owning technology,’ he wrote.”

In our experience, this trend in the shift of spending correlates to the change in the way technology solutions deliver value within the business.  As technology solutions continue to focus on helping to solve a specific business challenge and the enablement of the business user, the decision to move forward with any solution is less focused on the underlying technology and more so on the whether the solution is able to effectively solve the business problem with minimal IT resources required.

Have you seen a shift in your business or with any customers? To learn more about the shift in control of IT spending, read the remainder of the article here.

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