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Business Technology Spending Outpaces IT Department Contributions

The convergence of business and IT processes has been going on in the corporate landscape for some time, although new changes are beginning to emerge. In the past, most enterprise technology projects were fueled by IT executives who had their hearts and minds set on a specific destination. Today, the broad use of innovative solutions throughout the workplace is encouraging non-IT decision-makers to share their input and even sit in the driver's seat.

IDC recently released a report that highlighted how approximately 61 percent of enterprise technology programs are funded by businesses, not necessarily IT departments. More important, however, analysts expect corporate decision-makers to outspend IT executives in the coming years, especially as Big Data and other projects gain momentum.

"Technology has long been central to improving business processes, enabling greater speed, efficiency, and reliability," said Meredith Whalen, senior vice president at IDC. "As businesses embrace the 3rd Platform, built on cloud services, Big Data analytics, mobile computing and social networking technologies, they are taking the critical first steps toward business process transformation and, in some cases, business model transformation."

Cloud computing is another major influence on decision-making because the hosted services support more IT and business endeavors.

The cloud effect
Analysts highlighted how increased use of the cloud is driving organizations to launch initiatives at a faster rate than ever before. In many cases, marketing and other non-technical teams are turning into an extension of the IT department.

"The link between technology and business results has never been greater and is shifting the buying center away from IT and towards the business," said Eileen Smith, program manager of global technology and industry research at IDC.

A recent Gartner report noted that worldwide IT spending is forecast to reach $3.7 trillion in 2013, up 2 percent from last year. Although these trends generally differ among enterprises, the common thread in today's society is that non-technical departments are beginning to invest more heavily in IT projects, including Big Data and cloud computing, because these endeavors benefit enterprises as a whole, not just one group of individuals.

In the coming years, IT spending habits will continue to change and evolve, especially as the technological landscape matures and transforms. As this happens, companies should align business and IT priorities to implement unifying projects that deliver benefits on numerous levels.

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