Fernando Fischmann

Who really calls the shots on new technology?

2 October, 2014 / Articles
Fernando Fischmann

It’s generally accepted that the vast majority of money spent on technology in most businesses is spent on maintaining the existing infrastructure — keeping the lights on. Only a small element, perhaps as low as 20 or 10 percent, is spent on new projects — and even less goes on experimenting with emerging technology.

In tough economic times it’s often that new project money that disappears first, but now that the economic outlook is improving, while the budget may be returning, it may not necessarily be flowing back into the CIO’s coffers: recent research suggests that much of this innovation budget is going to executives outside of the IT organisation, for example to marketing or sales.

So what does this say about the role of the IT department and the CIO when it comes to investigating new technologies and exploring new ideas? Are they being relegated to implementers rather than originators?

When asked “Is the CIO still the best person to make decisions about IT innovation for the business?”, the ZDNet/TechRepublic CIO Jury panel responded ‘yes’ by 10 votes to two, which — perhaps unsurprisingly — shows they think the CIO still has a leading role in this type of decision making. But equally, few think they can go it alone any more.



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