Shifting Roles in the Tech Purchase Process
Each year within the Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker study, we ask “Including yourself, which of the following groups are involved in each stage of the tech purchase process at your organization?” In general, line of business management and the CIO are the most likely to be involved in the earliest stage when determining the business need, and the CIO is most frequently cited as having final purchase approval along with the CFO and CEO (same as in previous years).
It is in the middle stages of determining technical requirements, evaluating products and services, and recommending or selecting vendors for purchase that we are seeing changes year over year. IT staff remain the most involved in these middle stages, but this year we saw the CTO/IT architect/engineer more involved. This shift in ranking effects IT management the most, although there is little change in most of the actual percentages for that group.
The increased involvement for the CTO/IT architect/engineer could speak to organizations’ need to stay on top of emerging technologies to remain – or gain – a competitive edge. This emerging technology role has traditionally been an area that the CTO has focused on. Given the importance of new technologies in this age of digital disruption, we will be focusing on this role more closely in future studies.
And while the tech purchase process may be represented as a linear process in this table, the reality is, of course, quite different. There are many influencers and decision-makers involved at each stage. In fact, on average 10 people are involved in influencing major enterprise technology purchases so it is important to speak in the context required by the different roles. And to throw more complexity into the mix, who is involved in tech purchase decisions changes by company size, industry and IT model.
Customizing your approach to organizations based on the lens they are evaluating solutions through will make your outreach more effective.
To learn more about the tech purchase process, with tips on how to customize your approach, download the “Coping with Digitization” whitepaper highlighting the 2015 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker research.