21% of SMBs Have IT Specialists Reporting to Business Management Thereby Blurring the IT-Business Divide

Emerging Trend - SMB IT Specialists empowering business units in shifting IT purchase decision making to business management.

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Global SMB Market Research & Industry Analyst Organization

The increasing trend of IT specialists being resident in SMB business units will tilt the balance of decision making authority towards business management by empowering them with knowledge and decision-making agility

San Jose, CA (PRWEB) July 28, 2014

Techaisle’s study on “360 on SMB & Mid-Market IT Decision Making Authority - BDM vs. ITDM” reveals an emerging trend of IT specialists with purchase authority being resident within business units and reporting to business rather than IT management. The data is significant enough for marketers to pay close attention as the survey shows that already in 21 percent of small (1-99 employees) and 36 percent of midsized (100-999 employees) businesses, IT Specialists are embedded within business units and even more are planning to hire specialists within their business units. Further, the study also shows that these IT specialists are an important influence point for new IT solutions purchase and that in 29 percent of small businesses and 49 percent of mid-sized firms that have “business unit resident IT specialists” these staff members are the primary decision makers for new IT solution purchases. This trend will naturally tilt the balance of decision making authority towards business management by empowering them with knowledge and decision-making agility.

The need for IT and business to work together to ensure that all stages of IT adoption process meet both technical and business process requirements is an important factor in IT solution success. Survey data clearly demonstrates that SMBs have taken this a step further to address the need for what is sometimes referred to as “double deep” employees (with respect to IT and business experience) by positioning IT specialists within business units reporting to business (rather than IT) management. In a way, these IT Specialists reporting to Business Management in SMBs are blurring the IT and Business divide.

Small businesses - informal
The trend is widespread and informal in small businesses in the 10-99 employee size categories with 45 percent of firms reporting the presence of IT specialists within business units. In most cases this is an informal connection with IT-savvy employees responsible for IT-dependent processes.

Mid-market businesses - pronounced
However, within mid-sized businesses the trend is more pronounced and is becoming a more conscious strategy with IT support embedded within the line of business departments. As the balance of IT decision making authority continues to shift towards business decision makers the presence of IT specialists who can identify appropriate IT solutions within a mid-market business unit is gaining tremendous relevance. This also means that rogue implementations of solutions may well accelerate. More importantly, in the next 3-5 years it is highly likely that a business unit will begin to think and operate like an IT department as they learn from their missteps.

IT or BDM-led Solutions
To understand an SMB buyer’s journey, Techaisle research considered nine IT solution categories and the influence of various stakeholders from needs identification to selection and adoption process. At a high-level the nine IT solutions were found to belong to one of three categories – IT-led solutions, areas where IT is generally seen as leading corporate IT initiatives; BDM-led solutions, solutions in which BDMs provide most corporate leadership, and IT is cast very much in a supporting role; and IT/BDM collaborative solutions that respond to BDM needs, but where IT is important to supporting delivery capacity. The positioning of these solutions is important to shaping the focus of IT vendor sales and marketing initiatives.

It is important for IT suppliers to understand whether their current and prospective accounts have IT specialists assigned within business units, and where they do, to establish strong relationships that will enable the supplier to understand and respond to IT/business solution demand.

About the Study: 360 on SMB & Mid-Market IT Decision Making Authority - BDM vs. ITDM
To understand the current state and implications of distributed IT influence and authority Techaisle conducted a unique survey of SMB organizations where we surveyed roughly equal numbers of business decision makers (BDMs) and IT decision makers (ITDMs) across seven employee size categories, and then analyzed results to create a unified view of the new IT decision authority realities.

The study covers:

  •     Stakeholders and their roles in end-to-end IT solution adoption
  •     ITDM vs. BDM : Balance of Authority (Needs, Budget, Purchasing)
  •     ITDM & BDM: Locus of Leadership in driving different types of IT Solution Adoption
  •     ITDM & BDM: Leadership roles in securing Cloud, Mobility
  •     ITDM vs. BDM: Success Attributes and Benefits of Cloud & Mobility Solutions
  •     SMB & Mid-Market Businesses: Shadow IT Spending
  •     Business Impact of BDM vs. ITDM perspectives and expectations with respect to IT Solutions
  •     ITDM vs. BDM: Differences in Business Issues, IT Challenges, IT Priorities

About Techaisle
Techaisle is an SMB IT Market Research and Industry Analyst organization. Techaisle was founded on the premise that Go-to-Market strategies require insightful research, flexible data, and deeper analysis. Understanding the value of data consistency across markets to inform strategic planning, Techaisle has remained holistic in its approach to Insights and provides globally consistent SMB and Channels analysis across geographies. Techaisle's insights are built on strong data-driven foundation. To achieve its objectives Techaisle conducts surveys with SMBs and channels to understand market trends, opportunities, buying behavior, purchase intent, business issues and IT priorities. Techaisle's SMB and Channel partner studies cover cloud computing, managed services, mobility, collaboration, virtualization, business intelligence, analytics, big data, networking and data centers. Techaisle offers its clients: Syndicated Research, Custom Primary Research, Consulting Engagement, Competitive Intelligence, Segmentation and Predictive Analytics services. For more information on Techaisle or its global products/services, please visit http://www.techaisle.com, and our blogs at http://www.techaisle.com/blog.

Techaisle was founded by Anurag Agrawal, a veteran market research executive with more than 25 years in the IT industry. As an analyst he focuses on the SMB market and channel partner segments. He writes on and advises IT vendors and channel partners on cloud computing, routes to market, emerging technologies, mobility, big data, the state of the SMB market and channel dynamics. Previously Agrawal headed Gartner's Worldwide Research Operations. He began his career with IDC and is credited with launching IDC's quarterly tracker research. He is frequently referred to as SMBGuru.

LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/anuragagrawal1
Twitter: @anuragtechaisle


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