The Channel needs to become more business-savvy, according to industry analysts. IT departments are making less technology-related decisions within businesses, according to CompTIA’s latest report. A total of 45 per cent of those surveyed said that ideas about technology come from areas outside of the IT departments. In total, 36 per cent said that executives are becoming more involved with IT and technology decisions, with 27 per cent saying that IT departments no longer make the final decision on technology purchases.
CompTIA industry analyst Carolyn April said that the survey shows that IT departments need to adjust as executives in finance, marketing, sales and logistics begin to inherit responsibilities previously associated with IT departments.
“CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience is valued,” she said. “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.”
April believes that the shift to put IT at the forefront of business will have an impact on the Channel as a whole. She believes that it is the responsibility of Channel partners to ensure that they adapt to fall in line with the changing shape of the industry. “The amount of green-field, untapped space for business is huge,” April said. “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,” April explained. “Channel partners need to position themselves as consultants and service providers who can help customers make informed decisions about what they buy.”
The survey by CompTIA supports comments made by Canonical last week, which claimed that IT departments were now considered key partners rather than support networks within businesses.