The IT-business gap remains

The 2017 State of the CIO reports finds that while IT generally still has control of the tech purse strings, business and IT leaders disagree about the CIO's role.

02 close gap

In light of its increasingly prominent and strategic role, IT continues to remain in control of technology budgets. One-third of the CIOs responding to's 2017 State of the CIO survey said IT controls 71 percent or more of their organizations' technology budgets.

Nevertheless, other groups increasingly command their own technology budgets. For example, 40 percent of respondents said operations had its own tech budget, and 38 percent said marketing did.

Across industries, IT's role in purchases of marketing technologies is declining. That's certainly the case at Haggar, where the chief digital officer has ownership of the company's online operation and web presence -- and all the marketing systems that go with them. Nonetheless, "there's still a partnership between us," says David Walsh, vice president of technology at the menswear company. "We get the right plumbing to feed them information and help them put it together from an infrastructure perspective."

Plenty of work to do

To get a better handle on how business colleagues view IT and the CIO role, asked 200 line-of-business (LOB) managers the same questions we posed to IT executives in the 2017 State of the CIO survey. A look at the results of our separate surveys of IT and business leaders suggests that while IT helps steer other departments' technology decisions, there is still plenty of work to be done on IT-business relationship-building, and the two groups often have different views on IT's role and its strengths and weaknesses.

Take digital transformation, for example. In the survey of IT leaders, 41 percent of those polled said their most important role in digital transformation initiatives was identifying business units that would benefit the most from using digital technologies. In contrast, only 24 percent of the business executives said that they see IT contributing in that manner.

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