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Partner with Business Leaders to Lead the Business Technology Transformation

For CIOs, finding a clear path forward in the Business Technology (BT) Agenda can seem daunting, as you work to balance critical operational requirements with new initiatives designed to help your organization win, serve, and retain customers. But there are trailblazers in your organization. Forrester continues to see spending on technology spread and move out of the CIO’s silo and into the organization as a whole. In North America companies of more than 250 employees, 70% of technology spending is either business-led or heavily influenced by business. That part is not new, but it is increasing.

Specifically 50% of business managers, directors, and vice presidents are increasing their departmental budgets on technology products and services over the next 12 months. In fact, 16% of these business leaders are increasing their spending by more than 10%. This isn’t shadow-IT in action; it’s the new way of doing business. Within your own organization a minority, but important, population of business leaders are aggressively investing in technology products and services to achieve three essential business goals. Over the next 12 months, the 16% of North American business leaders dramatically increasing their spending are focused on:

  • Improving customer experience — 86% of these leaders rate this as a High or Critical priority.
  • Improving products or services — 83% of these leaders rate this as a High or Critical priority.
  • Creating a comprehensive strategy for addressing digital technologies such as mobile, social, and smart products — 75% of these leaders rate this as a High or Critical priority.

Partnering with these business leaders is essential to leading the transformation that is a cornerstone to the BT Agenda. But you need to know their motivations so that you can work in collaboration with them, rather than see them as a threat that needs to be controlled. The following are the top reasons for their more aggressive investments in technology.

  • 45% believe that “technology is too important for the business not to be involved.”
  • 40% believe that “rising customer expectations require the business to push IT to keep technology current.”
  • 38% believe that their “use of consumer technology has changed their expectations of how technology should be used.”

These leaders feel strongly that technology is linked to their success in winning, serving, and retaining customers through better experiences, products, and digital strategy. They see themselves as the conduit of your customers that will push you to innovate with technology, and their technology acumen in their personal lives gives them the confidence to take charge and lead.

Don’t ignore these leaders, and worst of all, don’t work to contain them or shut them down. They are responding to your customers and will catalyze new value for your company. Sit down with these leaders armed with the insights about what motivates them and forge a partnership to promote the BT agenda.

By Tyler McDaniel

Vice President, Business Technographics, Forrester Research

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