Executive Briefings

Not Waiting for IT Department's Lead, Many Senior Execs Make IT Investments on Their Own

Senior management executives are increasingly budgeting for information-technology purchases particular to their own functional areas or departments, beyond what's included in corporate and IT-department budgets.

In a survey by research firm Forrester, conducted from August to November 2012, 92 percent of 824 respondents said they had decided to spend on technology services, products or staff, not because of any frustration with IT or IT leaders, but because their attitudes about technology's importance to their business have changed.

"We originally thought people would be spending their own budgets because they weren't happy with IT, but that isn't the case," said John McCarthy, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. "[Business leaders] want to spend more money on technology than IT already does. But more than that, they view technology as too important to be left to IT alone. Their expectations as a result of IT consumerization are driving them to take a more active role."

The survey, limited to companies with more than $1m in annual revenue, broke out decision-makers into five categories: senior management and those responsible for research and development, manufacturing and supply chain, back office, and sales and marketing. Senior managers, a group that included CFOs, were the biggest IT spenders, followed by R&D then sales and marketing. Among industry sectors, the greatest IT spending by non-IT functions or departments was found in financial services.

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In a survey by research firm Forrester, conducted from August to November 2012, 92 percent of 824 respondents said they had decided to spend on technology services, products or staff, not because of any frustration with IT or IT leaders, but because their attitudes about technology's importance to their business have changed.

"We originally thought people would be spending their own budgets because they weren't happy with IT, but that isn't the case," said John McCarthy, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester. "[Business leaders] want to spend more money on technology than IT already does. But more than that, they view technology as too important to be left to IT alone. Their expectations as a result of IT consumerization are driving them to take a more active role."

The survey, limited to companies with more than $1m in annual revenue, broke out decision-makers into five categories: senior management and those responsible for research and development, manufacturing and supply chain, back office, and sales and marketing. Senior managers, a group that included CFOs, were the biggest IT spenders, followed by R&D then sales and marketing. Among industry sectors, the greatest IT spending by non-IT functions or departments was found in financial services.

Read Full Article