White Paper

Black Ops IT Spend - When IT Starts Being Paid Outside The CIO

Analysts Lee Holman, Greg Buzek, IHL Group

Retail has been abuzz about the increasing role of the CMO in the IT Spend process ever since Gartner analysts mentioned that they forecasted that the Chief Marketing Officer would control more IT spending than the Chief Information Officer by 2017. While we do not share that same forecast in Retail/Hospitality industries, the CMO is increasingly becoming a power in IT Spend. But this spending is often hidden from the CIO in many cases, hence why we used the names “Black Ops IT” in the report title, a military term used for operations that are hidden from the traditional command and control operations.

Retail has matured and become more dependent upon decentralized technology systems and services, and IT has become a greater part of the overall retail strategy. As a result, other C-level retail employees, most notably the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), are spending budgetary funds on IT, and these are typically increasing the overall dollars being spent.

The purpose of this report is to quantify that impact. We do this by leveraging our WorldView IT Spending Model along with primary research of top CIOs in the industry.

The results are striking and are having a dramatic impact on the amount of money being spent but how retailers need to work operationally to avoid huge problems. We provide a current assessment of the extent to which the IT portion of the CMO and other C-level employees’ budgets have grown (in relation to that of the CIO). Additionally, the authors strive to anticipate how retailers and vendors will look at this issue in the future.

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