Why small firms don’t have CIOs

Unless their company employs more than 40 people, IT managers who want to play a more prominent role in the decision-making process should look elsewhere, according to the results of a survey.

London, Ont.-based Info-Tech Research said choices around what technology products to buy and who to buy them from rests in the hands of non-senior IT executives in small enterprises, based on its poll of more than 4,000 businesses.

At companies employing 41-100 employee firms, on the other hand, 30 per cent of decisions were made by IT management. The number kept rising according to the size of the business, which more than half of all final IT purchase decisions made by IT management in companies with more than 200 people.

“It was very individualistic, very slanted towards executive management, not the IT group at all,” says Info-Tech senior analyst Ed Daugavietis. “It basically left the IT group in a supporting role.”

The executive involved in the decision could have any number of titles, Daugavietis said, though in small business it tends to be presidents or owners.

Although many experts have suggested IT needs to be a loud voice in the strategic direction of the enterprise, Daugavietis said IT professionals shouldn’t necessarily rule out a career in a small firm, which are estimated to make up the bulk of Canada’s economy. It all depends on what stage their careers are at, he says.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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