The New IT Purchaser


A new research report titled “Considering the New IT Buyer” from CompTIA, highlights a shift in corporate views of IT from a support function to a strategic asset of the business.

The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is a non-profit trade association serving as the voice of the information technology industry.

With approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners, 100,000 registered users and more than two million IT certifications issued, CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy.

Following are ten highlights from the report:

  1. More business executives are now involved in the IT decision-making process.  These decisions are no longer being solely drive by the IT department or partner.

  2. The incidence of purely “rogue” IT purchases by LOB managers may be diminishing, indicating increasing collaboration between business units and IT.

  3. Many business units now have hybrid positions where job roles are partly technical-, partly business-focused.

  4. Business unit budgets are now including IT projects.  This trend has increased 5.9% over 2016.

  5. CEOs from smaller companies do not have an internal IT presence so they are tasked with managing IT themselves.

  6. CFOs and finance directors are the next most involved in IT decisions and management.

  7. Infrastructure costs remain the domain of IT, while application costs are moving out to the business units using the applications.

  8. Cloud solutions have made it easier for non-IT business units to evaluate solutions.

  9. A generally more tech savvy workforce has brought an increased IT focus to most business units.

  10. This movement of IT decision making out into business units is not without risk.  Compliance, integration and security needs are often overlooked.

Here are a few additional sets of statistics you may find interesting.

With regard to how decisions are made within the IT department as opposed to within individual business units:

  1. 49% of respondents state that the ultimate objective for technology is now more business focused.

  2. 45% state that most IT ideas come from different areas of the organization.

  3. 36% state that more business executives are not involved in the decision-making process.

  4. 38% say there are different criteria now being used when evaluating new technology.

  5. 27% say that the final decision for IT purchases are now being made outside the IT department.

Of the organizations surveyed, the top strategic goals for IT are as follows:

  1. Implementing systems to enhance efficiencies [39%].

  2. Identifying new customer segments [37%].

  3. Renewing/maintaining key customer accounts [36%].

  4. Launching new products/services [35%].

  5. Innovation [33%].

  6. Hiring skilled workers [29%].

A final point of interest are rationales for centralizing decisions within IT or the business units.

Of the survey participants, respondents said that centralization within IT is optimal because…

  1. IT professionals are the experts, not the business units [64%].

  2. Business units need to focus on their core mission, not on IT [49%].

  3. Security and compliance concerns are IT’s responsibility [40%].

Others contend that decentralization, away from IT, is optimal because…

  1. Each business unit understands its individual needs better than IT [61%].

  2. Less bureaucratic / faster results [46%].

  3. There is more focus on innovation within the business units than within IT [43%].

If you would like to read the entire research report, you may find it here.  Please note that if you are not a CompTIA member, this link may not work for you.  If you are a CompTIA member, please login to before clicking the link.

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