Love Is in the Air: CompTIA Says Romance Between LOB Buyers, IT Is Brewing

It’s taken several years, but it appears that rogue line-of-business (LOB) buyers and IT teams are narrowing their divide, largely spurred by cloud and mobile computing — and they are finding common ground to move their business forward in the pursuit of digital transformation.

CompTIA's Seth RobinsonThat according a recently released report, “Building Digital Organizations,” by CompTIA.

Report author Seth Robinson, senior director, technology analysis at CompTIA, notes that a growing number of IT organizations are assuming a more strategic business role and are moving away from the traditional supportive role they’ve played in the past.

At the same time, LOB units realize there’s more to standing up IT solutions than they thought.

“Adventures in ‘rogue IT’ have shown business units that there is more to a technology solution than they initially assumed,” Robinson said. “IT professionals are changing their behaviors, too, learning more about business objectives and goals so they can help drive strategies and serve as an educational resource on technical matters.”{ad}

According to the CompTIA report, there are four ways in which the technology decision process is changing:

  • Ideas are coming from different parts of the organization.
  • The ultimate objective for technology is more business-focused.
  • LOBs not only contribute ideas for IT to evaluate, they’re directly making decisions. In particular: finance, marketing and sales.
  • One-third (33 percent) of companies surveyed said that a department other than IT has the final say in a technology solution.

The report goes on to say that most companies are still grappling with building new business processes, but it’s clear that IT still has an important guiding role to play. Fifty-nine percent of  respondents said that it still plays a primary role in IT decision making; 37 percent said all departments are on a level playing field; and, just 5 percent said that IT’s role has diminished.

The report also points to research by IDC that predicts that by the end of 2017, 70 percent of the Global 500 will build dedicated teams focused on digital transformation and innovation. That’s because companies are starting to recognize that new technology trends are leading to a new operational model: the direct contribution of technology to overall business outcomes.

The CompTIA research backs up this assertion, as per survey respondents (350 U.S.-based businesses):

  • 43%: Technology enables our business process.
  • 39%: We are using technology to drive business outcomes.
  • 36%: The technology function plays a critical role in strategy.
  • 34%: We are redefining our business thanks to technology.
  • 30%: We have strong collaboration between functions.

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