It's an ongoing marketing conundrum - who am I really targeting? An ever-increasing number of business purchases are technology related, technology-led or underpinned by tech. This has inevitably led to a much wider group of decision makers, across lines of business functions as diverse as HR and Operations. These heads of LOB have increasing autonomy to buy in tech for their own requirements, and in many cases don't have to go through a procurement process if under a spend threshold. And yet...and yet, while it's clear there has been a shift in buying behaviour, businesses haven't suddenly decided the IT dept aren't relevant beyond running the helpdesk. No - it's more a case of the IT function being the go-to checking mechanism. In other words, the business buying certain solutions through, rather than because of, IT. So while marketers should consider ensuring LOB is part of their targeting, IT is, and will remain, the hub of an increasing complex wheel.
The share of worldwide corporate IT spending that is funded by non-IT business units is forecast to reach 47% in 2019, an increase of more than 3% over 2015, according to the new Worldwide Semiannual IT Spending Guide: Line of Business from the International Data Corporation (IDC). The new Spending Guide quantifies the purchasing power of line of business (LoB) technology buyers by providing a detailed examination of where the funding for a variety of IT purchases originates. "3rd Platform technologies such as cloud, mobility, big data, and social business have created the underpinnings for business process transformation and, in some cases, business model transformation. With such high stakes, the line of business units are increasingly taking a front seat in technology initiatives by flexing their budgetary muscle," said Eileen Smith, Program Director, Customer Insights and Analysis.