CEO versus CIO?

Rising tension between business leaders and IT forecasts new roles for both.

CEO versus CIO?

If the marketing department is making its own decisions about an email marketing service, shouldn’t it also be responsible for ensuring that the chosen technology integrates seamlessly and securely with the company’s customer relationship management (CRM) database? And if problems arise after the marketing team starts using it, is it up to IT experts to troubleshoot them or is the marketing department left to fend for itself?

New data shows a real tension between IT and the broader business as budgets and control move outside of the traditional IT department. Executives constantly see evidence of it: more employees are choosing to use their own devices—including mobile phones, laptops, and tablets—to do work-related activities. At the same time, employees are still expecting IT to be responsible for making everything work together. So today, IT has less control over important areas of technology adoption, but is still accountable for the impact these technologies make on the company.

For the first time, a global survey of 1003 C-level executives, business unit leaders, and IT decision-makers quantifies the evolving mix of responsibility and control that leads to new tension between IT and the business. The survey found that 37 percent of technology spending is now controlled by departments outside of IT.

CEO versus CIO?

But that doesn’t mean the CIO’s role is fading; instead, the study reveals new boundaries for IT departments in the digital world. Rather than keeping a finite list of traditional operational responsibilities, survey respondents now expect IT to look inside and outside the organization to identify new innovative technologies that will enable employees to be more effective; to broker third-party services for employees; and to enlist new skills from independent service providers. By playing these new roles, the same respondents—especially the c-level executives—expect IT to wield greater influence in the enterprise over time.

Download the full Avanade Study: IT Without Boundaries

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