Digital Transformation Buying Power in the Hands of Line of Business  

The theme of this year’s IDC Directions recently held in Boston was “Digital Transformation at Scale: Innovation in a Changing World.”

31 March 2016


The theme of this year’s IDC Directions recently held in Boston was “Digital Transformation at Scale: Innovation in a Changing World.” Naturally, we were drawn to this event; most importantly, the aspect of scale.

According to IDC: “This scale-up of digital business strategies will drive more than half of enterprise IT spending within the next 24 months, rising to 60% by 2020. Mastery of 3rd Platform technologies will be table stakes for successfully executing DX business initiatives. A company's ability to grow and scale via digital transformation is driven by what IDC calls "innovation accelerators" — the ongoing expansion of disruptive 3rd Platform technologies that includes IoT, cognitive systems, augmented and virtual reality, robotics, 3D printing, and next gen security, in addition to the core 3rd Platform technologies of cloud, mobility, social, and big data and analytics. This latest wave of technologies is critical to business transformation, as it allows companies to open new revenue streams, change the way work is performed, and power the momentum behind line of business technology spend.”

The last sentence of IDC’s overview is important — “power the momentum behind line of business technology spend.” It implies that scaling digital transformation within organizations depends on the ability of individual departments to identify core business processes that can be significantly improved using technology, and make the decision to invest in transforming the process. This shifts the power traditionally held by IT to department heads and was a sentiment echoed in multiple presentations at the event.

Why is this significant? Allowing department heads to make technology decisions means the people most invested in the success of a process being digitally transformed are the people who actually depend on the process to do their jobs. This changes how the technology purchasing decision is made. A department head’s priority is function and ease of use, while an IT member’s priority might be the technical fit within an organization — architecture, product lifecycle, etc. For a department head, the number one question is: how will this technology make my job easier, and my company more successful.

For instance, Intralinks is often called in by department heads as part of a digital transformation initiative because of our secure workspaces for collaboration. Our workspaces help teams speed up critical business processes so they can get more work done across departmental or geographic boundaries. More and more line of business are buying tools to satisfy their own needs which may be very different from their colleagues on other teams. Whether it is working on a new idea, itemizing a team budget, building a project plan, or sharing documents for approval, lines of business are choosing our environment to enhance productivity at the privacy level that is right for their needs.

The budget shift from IT to line of business is powerful, and will play a key role in scaling digital transformation. IT will still play a role in the overall success of digital change within organizations. Technologies will certainly have to pass inspection by IT teams before implementation. But shifting buying power to line of business casts a wider net for innovation and adoption of technologies that enable business change.

Mikala Vidal

Mikala Vidal

Mikala Vidal is the director of communications for the Americas at Intralinks. She is responsible for driving PR strategy in the collaboration and security industries. Mikala has more than a decade of PR and marketing experience, and has built her career helping B2B technology companies generate awareness and build industry credibility. Previously she has helped companies like WatchDox, Exabeam, Convertro, Waterfall Security, Boxever, Insightly, EchoSign, and cybersecurity investor and entrepreneur Shlomo Kramer get noticed and gain market traction. She holds a B.A.

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