CIOs' buying decisions are being influenced by an increasingly diverse group of business executives, with research revealing that almost three quarters of workers influencing IT budget allocation are not in the IT department.
According to LinkedIn's survey of 2,300 professionals with influence over IT budgets, 72% do not work in IT. The research also revealed that this “unofficial IT committee” is gaining its IT insights from the internet.
"IT chiefs are having to take into account the views of a much wider range of people across their organisation, from reception to finance,” said Will Koch, head of technology at LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.
"This demands a new set of skills as they have to present easily understandable recommendations and requests to be acted upon by the non-expert decision-makers with their hands on the purse strings.”
The marketing department is becoming a powerful force in allocating IT budgets, amid the digitisation of business, with CIOs having to share budgets with chief marketing officers as customers increasingly interact with the business online.
The consumerisation of IT and cloud computing have also led to an increase in self-provisioning, when executives buy devices and download apps for work purposes without informing the IT department. This trend, known as “shadow IT”, is increasing the amount invested in IT from outside the department.
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Even senior management are influencing IT budget as executives, including CEOs, are using devices such as iPads before they are approved by IT. Official enterprise "bring your own device" (BYOD) schemes are being introduced to enable IT to retain control.
Gartner estimates that by 2020, 35% of organisations’ technology budget will be spent outside the IT department.
"In the past, the use of IT to support the business came almost as an afterthought, long after the business strategy and strategic initiatives for the coming period had been designed and sanctioned by top management," said Cassio Dreyfuss, research vice-president at Gartner.
"Over time, IT has graduated from being a support tool to being a business enabling and a business creation tool. Under that much broader and inclusive perspective, it makes more sense to talk about IT-related expenditures in each and every business initiative and respective budget. In this way, the CIO is challenged to adopt a higher profile and actively engage in opportunities to influence IT decisions in business budgets."