Research Illustrates the Evolving Tech Purchase Process for the Digital Enterprise

IDG Enterprise’s 2016 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Research Highlights Who is Involved in the Tech Purchase Process and Strategies for Tech Marketers to Stand Out

Framingham, Mass. – Sept. 14, 2016 – IDG Enterprise — the leading enterprise technology media company, composed of CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World —releases the 10th annual Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker research (tweet). The research highlights the role technology decision-makers play aligning tech decisions with their organizations’ overall strategy and how marketers can most effectively engage with them. As digital transformation continues to play a leading role in organizational strategy, there are more people involved in technology decisions, new titles and roles are emerging, and varying title sets lead within each stage of the purchase process.

Digital Transformation Expanding Tech Involvement
The influx of technology into all areas of the business has transformed traditional roles. In exploring the activities that IT decision-makers (ITDMs) are involved in, it is not surprising that the top areas of involvement span both IT and business responsibilities from collaborating with departments outside of IT on projects or technology needs (66%), to setting IT standards and policies (64%), setting IT project goals (63%), and mapping IT strategy to business goals (61%). There is a lot of fluidity between technology and business roles as the scope of these roles have expanded.  Half (52%) of respondents have transitioned from an IT role to a business role or vice versa. Additionally, half (51%) of organizations have an IT liaison role, an individual that helps business stakeholders and tech teams build a united understanding of business needs and tech-based resolutions. With increased collaboration between technology and line of business (LOB) stakeholders, and the integration of new roles, the number of individuals influencing the technology purchase process has grown to 25 at enterprise organizations (1,000+ employees).

Tech Responsibilities

“Every department now relies upon technology within their efforts to elevate the business,” said Brian Glynn, chief revenue officer, IDG Enterprise. “To help the business transform at the necessary speed, IT leaders are collaborating with an average of 5.8 functions which span IT and LOB stakeholders.  It is essential that tech marketers understand the evolving roles within the IT purchase process so that they can market efficiently and effectively to all stakeholders.”

The Technology Purchase Process & Making the Shortlist
The individuals involved in the technology purchase process shift throughout the stages, requiring that tech marketers create a customer journey map with content based on the stage of the purchase process and the level and needs of the key influencer at that stage. At the beginning of the purchase process marketers need to focus on business pain points to appeal to executive level influencers, whereas the middle stages require a deeper dive into the relevant technologies to address the information needs of those implementing the technologies.

Involvement in the Tech Purchase Process

While LOB stakeholders are very much involved in the purchase process, IT remains firmly in control in leading the process for recommending and selecting vendors, with 61% of ITDMs stating that IT researches solutions and vendors and creates the short list, with an additional 17% sharing that LOB will have IT vet the list prior to moving forward. And good news for tech vendors who learn that a short list has already been created when they engage with a prospect. Three-quarters of ITDMs said that a new vendor can make it onto an established shortlist.

Knowledge Sharing Can Give Tech Marketers an Edge
ITDMs use multiple sources to stay informed on new technologies and ways to be effective in their role. Technology content sites continue to be the leading source for information, followed-by white papers, webcasts, peers outside of their organization and newsletters. Almost half (47%) of ITDMs will visit a tech vendor website to learn more and 29% will also engage with vendors via social media, which is a top content marketing tactic for tech marketers.

In a time of growing self-education and the ability to have access to everything at your fingertips, waiting for information can be a hindrance to the tech purchase process. When engaging with vendors, ITDMs said the most valuable actions a vendor can take are to respond quickly to questions, or requests for information (67%), offer free trials/test drives of products (64%), and offer timely, relevant information (56%). Experience with a vendor also plays a role in transforming a customer into an advocate. Providing a great customer experience (62%), relevant and timely content (58%), and content that helps answer a question or solves a problem (56%) are the most valued interactions that will influence ITDMs to share information about a vendor with their peers.

About the 2016 IDG Enterprise Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker

IDG Enterprise’s 2016 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Research was conducted among the audiences of six IDG Enterprise brands (CIO, Computerworld, CSO, InfoWorld, ITworld and Network World) representing IT and security decision-makers across multiple industries. 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 751 respondents involved in the technology purchase process.

About IDG
IDG connects the world of tech buyers with insights, intent and engagement. IDG is the world’s leading 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, February 2016

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Lynn Holmlund
Marketing Director
IDG Enterprise
office: 508.935.4526


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