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CIOs, IT chiefs: ARRGH! What do you MEAN, HR just bought 400 iPads and didn't tell us

According to a survey, tech managers are in the dark about 'unofficial' IT spend

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CIOs and IT bods are in the dark over tech budgets as lines of biz people sidestep them to deploy their own projects, according to a survey by the Corporate Executive Board.

Some 165 firms with a tech spend of $29bn responded to the questions from CEB, an advisory firm, which estimates that up to 40 per cent more is unofficially spent on tech products and services by departments outside of IT's control.

Those insouciant souls who want to play fast and loose with company budgets want to test tech themselves, and don't care about ignoring protocol to trial a slabbie, CRM app or document-sharing tool.

The biggest culprits are the fools in HR, Marketing, Operations and Finance, with for example between six to nine per cent of HR budgets splashed on things like cloud-based systems and talent analytics.

And there was us ignoramuses at Vulture Towers thinking that HR people would use tech to find more and more innovative ways to fire people at distance or use bulky desktops to block the door when things really turn nasty.

But apparently, this lack of control is OK, at least according to Andrew Horne, MD at CEB, because "shadow spending" which was "in the past" seen as a risk or threat is now deemed a "sign of innovation".

"Failing to recognise the extent to which tech driven projects ate happening outside of the IT department can be a real worry, yet trying to maintain total control is equally a step in the wrong direction."

IT budgets for those 165 firms will rise on average by three per cent next year, said the CEB, but we are not sure if that is the official IT budget, or the one the IT managers found down the back of the sofa. ®

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