Insight into the technology purchase process – who’s involved and the sources they rely on

As we enter further into 2022, online resources have seen an increase in the aid of the technology purchase process. The pandemic has shifted resources online, such as podcasts, product-review videos, and webcasts/webinars. Our 2022 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker research outlines the information sources that IT decision-makers (ITDMs) rely on and this blog shares that insight along with who’s involved throughout the buying process. Read on to learn more:

Leadership in the tech purchase process

From determining the business need to post sales engagement, a variety of ITDMs play a part in various stages of the technology purchase process and hold different leadership roles in each stage. On average, 20 people make up the buying committee – 10 IT and 10 lines of business – however, there are some differences by company size. Enterprise organizations have an average of 27 influencers (14 IT and 13 LOB) while SMBs have 14 total (7 IT and 7 LOB).  

While we see LOB influencers throughout the purchase process, the CIO or top IT executive and IT management consistently remain the top leader for all stages. Additionally, the engineer also has consistent involvement in the purchase process, specifically when determining technical requirements and evaluating products and services. Although the CSO and CISO do not rank in any of the top three leadership positions, they are especially important when evaluating products/services as it’s crucial that these new technologies meet security requirements and align with current business practices. New to this year’s study, we asked how likely ITDMs are to work with an IT consultant when making a tech purchase. Overall, 91% say they are likely to work with an IT consultant and they are most likely to use one when purchasing IT services (45%), cloud computing products or services (41%), or security solutions (37%).

Sources relied upon during the purchase process

82% of ITDMs download information to aid them during the tech purchase process, averaging at 6 pieces of content downloaded.  Despite this use, brand awareness is still a key component as 76% of ITDMs say that they typically spend more time-consuming content from known and trusted brands because they are confident their time will be well spent. Before content creation and promotion to specific sources, ensure you have a strong and trusted brand identity with your customers and prospects. Once that is in place, provide ITDMs with the information sources they rely on the most. Those being:

  • Technology content sites 51%
  • White papers 45%
  • Webcasts/webinars 39%
  • Technology vendors (via phone, email, video conference) 39%
  • Technology vendors (via vendor website) 38%

Reliance slightly differs by purchase process stage – the research shows that for the first four stages (determining the business need through recommending or selecting products/vendors), technology content sites are the number one relied upon information source. Given the nature of tech content sites being educational resources with in-depth articles, product reviews, and opinion articles, it makes sense as to why these would be the number one information source when ITDMs are doing the majority of their research prior to purchasing a tech product/service. Once a vendor is selected and moves into the approval process, ITDMs turn to technology vendors, whether that be via their website, email, phone or video conference, as well as their peers for additional information and insight.

Different types of educational formats

While the world begins to reopen, we see ITDMs likely to attend in-person work related technology events over the next 12 months. More than half (57%) of ITDMs plan to return to these type of events – which increases to 60% for executive IT and 67% for ITDMs at enterprise organizations – while only 21% say no and 23% are still unsure.

While in-person is coming back, ITDMs are still relying on and engaging with webcasts. 71% of ITDMs have registered for a work-related webcast in the past 12 months, increasing to 73% for executive IT.  Technology-related video is also a key content type that ITDMs turn to – 96% say they watch tech videos for business purposes, with the main types being:

  • In-depth product reviews 46%
  • Industry research/tech analyst reports 41%
  • How to videos 41%

Before building out your marketing strategy, it’s necessary to fully understand who’s buying your technology, their involvement in throughout the purchase process, and the information sources they need to aid them to make purchase. Download Foundry’s 2022 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker research for the full insights to help you start building out your plans.