IDG Research Reveals Significant Influence Tech Leaders Have in Digital Business Transformation

IDG’s “2017 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker” Research Highlights Impact of Multidepartmental Stakeholders in Enterprise Tech Purchases.

Boston, Mass.—December 6, 2017—IDG, the world’s largest technology media, data and marketing services company, today announced the results of its 11th annual Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker survey, which examines the evolving role of IT decision-makers (ITDMs) in today’s corporations (click to tweet). The report highlighted the most important technologies that IT leaders are prioritizing for their organizations’ digital transformation, including the adoption of IoT and cloud.  While all organizations are looking to transform, only 28% of organizations have an active digital first approach.

Digital First Approach – From Concept to Reality
IT executives (65%) and Line of Business (LOB) executives (61%) are collaborating on the need for a digital first strategy, however responsibilities are consistently handed off to IT executives to make that strategy a reality. Tech departments must balance digital first adoption with ongoing business needs. Currently, tech strategy is spilt between three areas, responding to internal events (37%), status quo / “keeping the lights on” tasks (33%), and responding to external events (27%) such as market changes and customer requests.

“Technology leaders are fueling digital transformation to survive and thrive in the face of market disruption,” said Brian Glynn, Chief Revenue Officer, IDG Communications, Inc. “Our research shows that they are collaborating with their line of business counterparts on business strategy, but IT remains in control of the vendor short list and is the primary budget holder.”

Understanding Tech Investments
Digital transformation is fueling the addition of new technologies, where established technology purchases are often a replacement or upgrade. No matter the tech area, the majority of organizations use only three vendors to fulfill their technology needs. When evaluating tech vendors, ITDMs are open to exploring both existing and new vendors for tech purchases, in fact, 48% sought new vendors for their tech investments over the past two years.

Recent Tech Investments

On average, there are 16 influencers in the tech purchase decision-making process. Throughout the stages of the purchase process, technology leaders play the primary role. LOB executives, particularly the CEO, collaborate closely with the CIO to determine the business need and authorize the purchase.  Additionally, the IT staff takes the lead in determining the technical requirements for evaluating solutions and managing the post-sales process, which showcases their importance, particularly for upsells and renewals.

Importance of Content
Digital Transformation is putting more emphasis on the role of technology in driving business forward. Because of this, tech professionals are seeking valuable content to help them meet their business needs. As they explore newer and more complex technologies (e.g. cloud, SaaS software, data and analytics), they download an average of 5-6 pieces of information compared to 2-4 assets for more established technologies like telecom and desktops/laptops. To find this information ITDMs turn to both tech content sites (55%) and vendor content sites (43%).  Respondents said that they consider tech content sites to be more relevant and credible, using vendor sites to clarify information. Vendor product demos were found valuable by almost all tech leaders (98%).

Standing Out in the Crowd
In the world of mass emails, getting noticed and being able to engage with customers and prospects is key. ITDMs call out that familiarity makes the difference between an email being opened or deleted. Seventy-one of ITDMs will open an email based on past experience with the vendor, followed by vendor recognition (51%), and how closely the subject line addresses a pain point (48%). Once a meeting is obtained, ITDMs seek detailed information specific to their business use case (77%), information to make a final purchase decision (58%), or the ability to view a demo or learn about a case study related to the product/solution (47%).

About the 2017 IDG Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Research
IDG’s 2017 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Research was conducted among the audiences of eight IDG brands (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld, Macworld, Network World and PCWorld) representing IT and security decision-makers involved in the IT purchase process for their organization. The survey was fielded online with the objective of understanding the technology decision-makers’ role and helping tech marketers engage them through the right channels. Results in this release are based on 752 respondents across multiple industries.

View additional information from the 2017 IDG Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker.

About IDG Communications, Inc.
IDG Communications connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. IDG Communications is the world’s largest media, data and marketing services company that activates and engages the most influential technology buyers. Our premium brands, including CIO®, Computerworld®, PCWorld® and Macworld®, engage the most powerful audience of technology buyers providing essential guidance on the evolving technology landscape. Our global data intelligence platform activates purchasing intent, powering our clients’ success. IDG Marketing Services creates custom content with marketing impact across video, mobile, social and digital. We execute complex campaigns that fulfill marketers’ global ambitions seamlessly with consistency that delivers results and wins awards. IDG is the #1 tech media company in the world, per comScore.*

*Source: comScore Media Metrix, Desktop Unique Visitors, Worldwide, January 2017

Additional information about IDG, a privately held company, is available at




Lynn Holmlund
Marketing Director
IDG Communications, Inc.


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