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Gartner: CIOs must influence IT Decisions in Business Budgets

IT is more and
more a key component of all business initiatives and is becoming an
important part of those budgets, according to Gartner. CIOs must work
with business executives and the CFO to ensure that the critical
contribution of IT is incorporated early in the strategic planning
and budget planning processes.

IT is more and
more a key component of all business initiatives and is becoming an
important part of those budgets, according to Gartner. CIOs must work
with business executives and the CFO to ensure that the critical
contribution of IT is incorporated early in the strategic planning
and budget planning processes.

“In the
past, the use of IT to support the business came almost as an
afterthought, long after the business strategy and strategic
initiatives for the coming period had been designed and sanctioned by
top management,” said Cassio Dreyfuss, research vice president
at Gartner. “Over time, IT has graduated from being a support
tool to being a business enabling and a business creation tool. Under
that much broader and inclusive perspective, it makes more sense to
talk about IT-related expenditures in each and every business
initiative and respective budget. In this way, the CIO is challenged
to adopt a higher profile and actively engage in opportunities to
influence IT decisions in business budgets.”

The appropriate
IT budget decisions follow different processes for each organization,
depending on its work style, which, in turn, depends on external
variables (mostly its business environment) and internal variables
(mostly the style of how its people and areas work together and make
decisions). However different decisions may be, the CIO has unique
contributions to IT budget decisions for organizations of all styles
— but CIOs must understand the business challenges and work styles
of each of them to effectively influence IT budget decisions.

Gartner strongly
supports the creation of this “bimodal” IT organization.
One, the “enterprise-strength IT,” is responsible for
delivering efficient IT services with high levels of excellence and
reliability; the other, the “opportunistic IT,” is ready to
take advantage of new business opportunities, with the creation of
new business models and seizing elusive business moments. An
“enterprise-strength IT” supports an evolutionary business
environment whereas an “opportunistic IT” supports an agile
business environment.

“These
characteristics legitimize CIOs and their teams as advisors to all
budgets in all functions within the enterprise,” said Michael
Smith, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. “In
addition, IT leaders will advise business leaders on how to secure,
integrate and manage the quality of the information that fuels
digital business. These capabilities are what CIOs and their teams
will have budgeting responsibility for as traditional enterprises
make the transformation to digital businesses.”

The IT
organization has in its DNA the ability to solve problems through
project-oriented approaches and collaborative working processes. This
is invaluable for any organization, and essential in uncertain and
dynamic business environments. IT is therefore ideally placed to
collaboratively elaborate — and technically influence — the
budgets of all business initiatives.

 

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