CompTIA: Tech Buying Moving Beyond the IT Department

A new report from the tech association says that while IT departments maintain a role in tech buying, other units that would have once handed off the process are now taking a more hands-on role.

Tech buying in the enterprise isn’t what it used to be—and a big reason is an evolution in who makes the purchasing decisions.

According to a new report by CompTIA, departments that once took a more passive role in technology purchases, such as finance or marketing, are now more directly involved.

In a survey of 675 American businesses, CompTIA, the trade association for the IT industry, found that IT departments were the primary decision makers on a technology purchase 19 percent of the time, while other departments made buying decisions on their own 14 percent of the time. The most likely scenario (40 percent) was a business unit working jointly with the IT department. In fact, 36 percent of respondents said more executives were involved in a technology purchase.

“CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience are valued,” Carolyn April, CompTIA’s senior director of industry analysis, said in a news release. “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.”

The survey also found that individual departments are more likely to come up with technology ideas (45 percent) and pay for technology needs within their own budget (52 percent said they did so within the past year).

And many technical job roles are moving into other departments, rather than reporting to the chief information officer.

“This isn’t a case of rogue IT running rampant or CIOs and their teams becoming obsolete,” April added. “Rather, it signals that a tech-savvier workforce is populating business units and job roles.”

The full report can be viewed on the CompTIA website.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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