Who owns IT?: The CxO procurement conversation

Published on the 09/03/2015 | Written by iStart

IT investment used to be the sole preserve of the CIO, but recent research shows this is changing and CxOs and line managers are taking on a greater decision-making role...[View as PDF]

Over the last year IDC’s research manager for IT services Adam Dodds based in New Zealand has charted the changing boardroom and executive conversation concerning technology procurement. And it is a conversation that has changed significantly as we move to digital-first business and cloud computing changes the procurement framework. Below are the questions that are now being asked in the more progressive boardrooms:

[NOTE: This infographic is part of a wider research feature looking at the psychology of IT procurement which featured in the Q1 2015 iStart magazine]

Boardroom conversation

In the table below the intersection of two roles represents the topics that should be under discussion.

CEO How set up are we to manage OPEX based solutions such as cloud?How does this change our existing procurement process for IT?Does this change how we value our business? What is the role that you see your department playing in the adoption of technology?What are the resources that you need to fulfill this role?

Where we choose to do this ourselves, what is the price or performance benefit compared to partnering?
What are the expectations of the new generations regarding the adoption of technology?How can we leverage technology to visualize how our business communicates with itself and its customers?Using technology – how do we make use of a more variable labor market? How can our cost of operations be made more variable through the use of technology?How does our investment in systems and tools align to that of our competitors?What unique IP in business operations could be systemised and sold to the market? How can we change our revenue models to be more aligned to the way in which our customers do business?Where is the new business threat where our competitors leverage technology?Who of our customers’ strategic partners can we partner with to create something unique? What is our digital strategy?How can we grow our addressable market through the use of technology?What information do we have about our customers that might allow us to diversify?What information do we not know about our customers that we need to understand?How do we establish a framework for innovation to capitalise on market opportunities with pace?

Finance department

CFO How do we make the consumption of technology more aligned to the way in which we do business?What cloud or IT solutions do we intend to adopt and what is the proportion of the budget that will be OPEX? What is the benefit of a more variable approach to the use of people and technology? What technology are you looking to adopt outside the CIO office and how do you intend to manage the costs? What technology are you looking to adopt outside the CIO office and how do you intend to manage the costs? What technology are you looking to adopt outside the CIO office and how do you intend to manage the costs?

CIO office conversation

CIO How do we leverage technology to be more connected with our staff and their views on the business?What is our CYoD and BYoD policy? How are we creating variable technology solutions that allow us to be more flexible in our use of people?What about our business security? How are we leveraging technology to track the creation of our product or service?What technology solutions will we use to monitor systems and machinery to reduce costs? What information or technology solutions do we need to make your engagement with the customer more productive? What information do you want to gather about our customers that could be obtained using technology?

HR conversation






HR Are our technological and physical policies being adhered to?Where do the risks lie? Are our technological and physical security policies being adhered to?
Where do the risks lie?

Operations conversation






COO How do our customers want to buy and how can we align the cost inputs of the business to this?

Conversation CRO







CRO How do we become more information-led in our market strategies?Do we need a CIO office?

Source: IDC studies including the NZ Ecosystem Study 2014; CIO roundtables; mobility, cloud and IT services surveys during the 2014 period; and the C-suite Survey 2014 which focused on CXOs


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