It’s official: Credit Card IT is now mainstream

Investigating some statistics on Credit Card IT and Mobile Apps that confirm long-held suspicions.

Making sense of the data: the key insights

Do you ever get the feeling that what is supposed to be actually isn’t? I’ve long felt that about the old maxim that all IT spend belongs to the IT department. For example, how many employees use expense claims for technology-related spending?

Credit Card IT has become more pervasive over recent years, with business units side-stepping the IT Organisation and using their own budgets to acquire technology solutions. Recent research from Telsyte confirms my suspicions of its extent.

Only 21% of IT teams still “control” the entire IT budget

The worst offenders start right at the top: in 63% of Australian organisations with more than 20 employees, Management is the most likely to spend on IT outside the ‘official’ IT budget, followed by Operations (62%) and Finance (59%).

While much has been written about Marketing & Sales flouting IT (salesforce.com anyone?) they’re actually doing it only 54% of the time. But this indicates that the oft-quoted prediction – that the CMO or CDO will soon command a larger technology budget than the CIO – might eventually come true.

Mobile Apps: Where marketing (and operations) might be spending on IT

Telsyte also found that a full one-third of organisations surveyed already have mobile apps – and another third are developing them. And no, it’s not just external apps for Gen Y customers! A similar number of apps are being developed for internal use.

Apps for smartphones lead, with 47% of organisations having developed, or are in the process of developing, apps for the ‘small screen’ for both the customer and business user categories. 

But tablet apps are catching up, especially for internal business use. In fact, only 24% of CIOs have no plans to develop internal tablet apps, compared to 30% not planning to develop smartphone apps for their customers. 

This confirms other research that ‘connected tablets’ are taking the middle ground between laptops and smartphones for many applications.

Reality check: The truth about Credit Card IT

Getting back to the topic of Credit Card IT, Telsyte discovered that line-of-business spending on business technology is often problematic. Of the 79% of total organisations where it happens, more than a third (36%) had already experienced problems.

Telsyte’s research also asked CIOs what problems arise for IT and for the whole organisation when business units procure their own IT services. Issues cited include integration requirements (on the rise at 36%), inconsistent technology selection (33%), security including privacy and data loss (32%), poor fit-for-purpose decisions (27%) and the high cost of point solutions (27%).

These issues have the potential to cost the organisation a lot more in the long run. The CEO, not just the CMO, should take note when CIOs flag concerns with integration and security as critical reasons for working with, rather than around, IT.