If you happen to own a company or run one, you might already know what we mean when we say C-level. If you don’t know that term, we’re going to explain it in this article. We’re also going to talk about the link between the C-level and IT purchasing and implementation decisions.
What Does C-Level Mean in Business?
If you mention C-level and you’re talking about a business entity, what you’re probably speaking about are the top managerial positions. In other words, you have the A-level, which are the lowest workers on the company totem pole. The B-level would be middle management, while the C-level hold jobs such as CEO or CFO.
How Does the C-Level Drive IT Purchasing Decisions?
IT stands for information technology. That’s a catchall term that can encompass all kinds of technologies and systems. You probably have an IT department for your company, or maybe just a single IT person if you have a tiny operation.
C-level executives usually drive IT purchases and new system or tool implementation. If you’re looking for a simple reason as to why that is, think of it this way.
Your C-level executives are the ones who can ultimately dictate how the company spends its discretionary funds. If they hear about new IT technology that seems worth it for you to have, they are probably going to invest that money in the new tech.
That’s a somewhat simplistic way of looking at it, though, so we’ll break down how the C-level drives IT spending in more detail.
The Employee Experience
The C-level executives probably want to attract as many excellent employees as they can so the company as a whole is stronger. They might not do the hiring themselves, but they want to facilitate that hiring as best they can.
That can be one reason why they’ll decide to sink some money into new IT tools or initiatives. The C-level executives will open up the company’s coffers to bring in some shiny new IT toys if they want to hire someone, particularly for the IT department, and they want to boast that the company has the latest technology readily available.
It’s hard to argue with that strategy. Doing this often does bring in the best IT minds because they want a chance to work with a company that they perceive to be cutting edge.
Cost Efficiency Often Enters into the Equation
It’s also hard to imagine that the company’s C-level executives ever do anything that’s not cost-based. They are probably trying to monitor every penny that goes into the business and comes out of it.
If they perceive that the company can save money in the long term by getting the latest IT tech, that just might be enough for them to want to do it. If they believe that an IT investment can save money over time, they will probably be willing to put up the cash.
If you’re part of a company’s IT department, though, and you feel strongly that certain new tech features or tools can save the business money, you might not have the easiest time convincing the C-level execs of that. It helps if they have tech backgrounds themselves. If they don’t, you might have to prepare a detailed presentation to try and convince the higher-ups that spending this money will pay off.
As a company, everyone at every executive level wants to keep the clients or customers happy. If you have satisfied customers, you’ll garner an excellent industry reputation. That means the whole company will succeed, and presumably, everyone will profit at every level.
That means the C-level execs might be willing to spend more money on IT if they feel that the tools they’re buying can crank out products or services faster. If the IT tools will lead to satisfying the customer more rapidly, that might be reason enough to get them.
Automation is something that happens in business and the world at large. Whenever it is possible to automate something, society will want to do it because that usually makes everyday life more convenient.
In business, when you automate something, that might cost some people their jobs, but that seldom stops a profit-driven company. The C-level execs will likely feel that way since they care about the bottom line more than just about anything else.
If the IT tools that are available now can allow your company to automate certain tasks that once needed individuals to complete them, the execs will probably be more than willing to sink some money into them. These IT tools or processes that can automate something might be a welcome company addition that can boost your reputation or allow you to expand into new markets.
Modernization is the last reason why the C-level execs will probably be fine with spending money on some new and improved IT tools. Technology is continuing to evolve at a much faster pace than ever right now. IT is no exception to that, as new tools seem to come out every year.
If you have a company that wants to improve its infrastructure and keep a better hold on any helpful data, it is your IT department that can do that. Even if the C-level execs don’t understand everything that some new IT technology can do, that does not mean they won’t approve the purchase if the IT staff can convince them this tech means modernization.
As we explain the C-level execs and IT spending link, it’s obvious why some C-level executives might clash with the company’s IT department. The IT staff might be sure that your business needs some new technology, but the executives may not see why.
Presentations can help, but if you have stubborn company heads who are not willing to spend the money the IT department needs, your business can fall behind others within your niche. Keep that in mind if you are attempting to dominate your industry.