CIOs recognize the benefits but express concern about decentralized IT risks

Published: Tuesday, 17 December 2019 09:43

In a new report from IDG Connect and Snow Software, 67 percent of IT leaders said at least half of their spend is now controlled by individual business units. While most believe this is beneficial for their organization, it presents new challenges when combined with increased cloud usage. The survey, conducted to understand how the rise of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) and democratized IT spending is impacting businesses, found that more than half of IT leaders expressed the need to gain better visibility of their IT assets and spending across their organization.

Traditionally, technology purchasing and management was controlled by IT departments. The cloud and as-a-service models shifted this dynamic, enabling employees throughout the organization to easily buy and use technology without IT’s involvement. IT leaders are embracing this trend, with 78 percent reporting that the shift in technology spending is a positive for their organizations. But decentralized IT procurement also creates new complexities for organizations as they try to manage their increasingly diverse IT estates.

The IT leaders in the study voiced concern that the shift in spending to business units:

Results suggest that annual audits are now the rule rather than the exception – 73 percent of those surveyed said they have been audited by at least one software vendor in the past 12 months.

When asked which vendors they had been audited by within the last year, 60 percent said Microsoft, 50 percent indicated IBM and 49 percent pointed to SAP. Such enterprise software audits can put a tremendous strain on internal resources and result in six, seven and even eight-figure settlement bills.

The vast majority of IT leaders surveyed said they are concerned about the looming possibility of audits, specifically when it comes to IaaS environments. When asked if the thought of software vendor audits for licensed usage on the IaaS front worries them, 60 percent responded “yes, very much so” and 29 percent said they are somewhat concerned.  

The Snow-commissioned report, ‘What Decentralised IT Spending Means for the CIO’s Role’, is based on a survey, conducted by IDG Connect, of 450 IT managers in Germany, the UK and the US. These individuals come from organizations with 1,000 or more employees.

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