CFOs are overriding CIOs when buying IT services

It seems that the CFO is increasingly influential when it comes to buying IT services.

According to research from Forrester, although the CIO has more influence over IT services procurement, this is dwindling as CFOs take more control.

Forrester says the IT services industry is changing because new service providers are changing how they work with customers and bypassing IT departments, instead going direct to business executives.

“The IT services industry is in the middle of a fundamental transformation of who it sells to, what services it sells, and how it delivers those services, because upstart vendors – specialising in new technologies like predictive analytics, big data, and mobile – are going around IT departments and incumbent suppliers by selling to business decision-makers,” said the Forrester report.

To be honest I wasn’t that surprised about this. Most people I talk to already say that the CFO makes decisions around outsourcing already because most decisions are made in relation to the cost savings a contract will offer.

It seems like CIOs are being hit from all sides. Recently I did a story in August last year about CIOs having to increasingly share control of IT budgets with marketing departments as customer relationship management (CRM) software is becomes critical to customer retention.

Mac Scott, associate director in KPMG’s CIO advisory, said the convergence of marketing and IT means marketing professionals will gradually hold more influence on IT budgets. See the article here.

Now it seems that IT service providers see marketing people as the point of contact for many technology services. One senior employee at a big  supplier recently old me that it is the marketing people they are engaging with for technologies such as social media, mobile apps for customers and website work.

Do you think this is surprising? Let me know what you think?