The new conventional wisdom is that the CIO and IT organization are becoming relics, as business technology decision-making and purchasing move into marketing, sales, HR, and other departments. Who needs a big IT organization, the reasoning goes, when tech-savvy line-of-business workers and their managers can buy the server capacity, storage, applications, and devices they need with a few clicks and a credit card?

In a column titled "New Face Of IT: Line Of Business Execs," InformationWeek contributor Patrick Houston relates the example of LivingSocial, a Groupon-like startup whose HR chief, Jennifer Trzepacz, ramped up cloud-based recruiting, payroll, and employee performance-management systems in next to no time--all without an IT department. Concludes Houston: "Trzepacz and others like her--managers who know their disciplines more intimately than IT could--are destined to command ever bigger shares of enterprise technology budgets."

Adding fuel to the debate are two recent reports that conclude that marketing departments, whose spending on IT already is growing two to three times faster than other IT spending, are taking matters into their own hands. Gartner predicts that by 2017, marketing departments will spend more on IT than the IT organizations at those companies. And IBM, in a survey of 1,700 CMOs, found that 23% of them now rely extensively on external partnerships for IT initiatives--but 61% think they'll rely extensively on them over the next three to five years. Read full story on InformationWeek


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