Chief information officers (CIOs) are still, for the most part, in control of decisions on technology purchases in US corporations, but other C-suite members are increasingly making inroads into their domain.
“Executives from finance, marketing, sales, logistics, and other departments and business lines play an increasingly central role in the evaluation, purchase, and use of technology solutions,” says the latest study by CompTIA.
Even so, CIOs and their teams are in full control of other business functions, such as technology implantation, outsourcing contracts, and data security, says the report, adding that technological complexity demands CIO expertise to navigate.
Some previous reports had predicted that CIOs would be all but sidelined and CMOs would make increasingly important decisions on technology purchases.
“CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience are valued,” said Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA.
However, the rising importance of digital technologies has required business executives to be more closely involved in purchasing decisions. “They need to speak the language of business because this new generation of buyers doesn’t want to hear about the technical implications of their purchases,” April added.
Another factor is that technology has shifted from a supporting function for business to a strategic asset. This shift is impacting the entire IT channel, including vendors, distributors, and solution providers, according to April.
It is also clear that other C-suite executives do not decide on purchasing sophisticated technology solutions in the absence of CIOs, but they are taking independent decisions on cloud-based software solutions that analysts say are less complicated when it comes to implementation.