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Non-IT departments and business lines within companies are playing a larger and larger role in technology purchasing decisions, including using their own budgets to buy technology. These are units like finance, marketing, sales, and logistics, among others.
IT industry trade association CompTIA saw more than half (52 percent) of respondents to a recent survey indicate that they used business-unit budget to pay for technology purchases in 2016. Close to half (45 percent) said technology ideas came from people outside of their IT organizations, and 36 percent said more execs are involved in making technology decisions.
The association, which surveyed 675 US businesses in February, also found that non-IT units are also increasingly hiring tech staff of their own. Some of the reasons cited include need for specialized skills, faster response times, and better collaboration.
Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA, said in a statement:
“CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience are valued. But business lines are clearly flexing their muscles. It’s another strong signal that technology has shifted from a supporting function for business to a strategic asset.”
Business lines are primarily buying cloud-based software solutions, according to the association, which recommended that channel partners should package their products and services differently. That means speaking “the language of business,” because these new technology buyers don’t necessarily want to know technical details.
“Channel partners need to position themselves as consultants and service providers who can help customers make informed decisions about what they buy.”