CompTIA report underlines shifts in technology purchasing process

A new report by CompTIA has re-confirmed the influence of cross-company execs in the ICT buying process.

"CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience is valued," said Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA.

"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."

Among the organisations surveyed for the CompTIA report 45% said that ideas about technology come from different areas of the organisation; and 36% said more executives are involved in the decision making.

More than half of respondents used business unit budget to pay for technology purchases in the last year.

Lines of business are also staffing their departments with technology-oriented job roles, from data scientists and business analysts to software developers and social media managers.

CompTIA says this shift is impacting the IT channel - vendors, distributors and solution providers.

"The amount of greenfield, untapped space for business is huge," added April. "But lines of business have little knowledge or interaction with the channel. It's incumbent on the channel to get their faces in front of line of business leaders."

"They need to speak the language of business because this new generation of buyers doesn't want to hear about the technical implications of their purchases.

"Channel partners need to position themselves as consultants and service providers who can help customers make informed decisions about what they buy."