Exploring the Tech Purchase Process by Specific Tech Solutions


The list of technologies that organizations have at their disposal today is never ending – whether it be a new cloud computing solution or data & analytics tool. To better understand how IT decision-makers (ITDMs) are investing in this variety of solutions, IDG’s 2018 Customer Engagement research and 2019 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker research dives into the tech purchase process by specific tech segment. The results explore where ITDMs go for information when researching specific solutions, what types of content they rely upon by each technology, the length of purchase process, the number of influencers and how this differs by technology, and whether or not IT decision-makers are likely to purchase specific solutions from existing or new vendors. We’ve outlined some key takeaways for each technology topic below – but this is just the beginning of the research. We have detailed results to match your solutions that will help shape your tech marketing strategies.

Cloud Computing

  • 41% of cloud solutions are purchased as additions to existing technologies rather than replacements (34%) or upgrades (26%).
  • Additional educational resources are required for cloud purchases as decision-makers download an average of 6 assets prior to making a purchase (compared to 5 for overall purchases.)

Data & Analytics

  • The CIO or top IT executive is the most involved individual in the purchase process, but Architects and Engineers play an important role.
  • White papers and tech content sites are the most relied upon information sources for data & analytics-focused decision-makers.


  • 83% of networking focused decision-makers say that when a technology brand is known and trusted it increases the likelihood that they will be added to the short list.
  • The average length of the networking purchase process is 5.4 months.

Desktops & Laptops

  • On average, 16 individuals are involved in desktop/laptop purchases – which is less than the average of 21 influencers.
  • The majority of desktop & laptop purchases are made from existing vendors (78%).

Enterprise Software (Non-SaaS)

  • Incumbents don’t have a clear advantage – more than half (55%) of enterprise software (non-SaaS) purchases were made from new vendors in the past two years.
  • ITDMs focused on non-SaaS solutions are ahead on the DX curve with 55% already having an active digital-first approach (compared with 48% overall)

Enterprise Software (SaaS)

  • Only 42% of SaaS-specific downloaded content has provided value to tech decision-makers in the last 12 months – marketers need to step up their game here.
  • Additional (and valuable) educational resources are needed for SaaS purchases – on average ITDMs download 7 assets during the purchase process, compared to the overall average of 5.

Servers & Storage

  • Fewer individuals are involved in the servers/storage purchase process – an average of 17 influencers compared to the 21 average.
  • Servers/storage focused decision-makers rely on product demos & product testing during their research.

IT Services

  • Technology content sites lead the way for top sources relied upon during the IT services purchase process.
  • On average, IT services focused decision-makers download 6 assets throughout the tech purchase process.


  • The top sources of information relied upon during the security purchase process are tech content sites, white papers and peers outside company via phone or email.
  • Security solutions are purchased slightly more often from new vendors (56%) rather than from existing vendors (44%).

There is much more data to uncover on the purchase process for each specific technology. Contact us to learn more about the technology that is of the most interest to you and explore the content types, information sources, and who’s involved in the specific purchase process. 

View some key takeaways in the excerpt below:


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