- When companies weigh IT purchases, improving efficiency, productivity and profitability are the top priorities, according to a recent report by Forrester that surveyed 2,000 technology buyers at high-tech companies. Keeping business running, revenue growth and customer experience were the next considerations on the list.
- Vendors’ technical expertise and reputation can impact buying decisions, as well as price and the ability of a product or service to meet enterprise needs, according to the survey.
- Technology buyers typically prefer to consult sources other than vendors, including technology websites, online forums and business consultants, to inform purchasing decisions, the report said.
Enterprise technology purchasing decisions have a long tail. Once systems are in place and services have been procured, they become entwined with existing IT and integrated into operations. As end users reach a certain comfort level, making changes entails disruption and may call for new training and upskilling efforts.
Most buyers rely on and are influenced by vendor insight, according to the report, which found one-third of purchasers placed a premium on vendor technology expertise during the selection process.
Self-guided research is equally important, the report said. Buyers turn to informational websites, forums and message boards to learn about potential IT products and services, and they consult industry analysts in all three phases of the procurement process, from discovery through evaluation to commitment.
The goal is to make an informed and hopefully successful decision.
Nobody goes into an IT purchase aiming for disappointment, but that is sometimes the result, according to a Gartner report published in July, which surveyed 1,120 tech leaders.
More than half of respondents to the Gartner survey regretted purchases and 7 in 10 felt purchases fell below expectations or were less ambitious than originally planned.
Despite those findings, most IT purchases have an eventual payoff as companies find ways to extract value from new acquisitions, Hank Barnes, distinguished VP analyst and a chief of research at Gartner, told CIO Dive in July. The problem is often in the process.
Lack of agreement between decision makers involved in IT purchases is one reason for unhappy outcomes, Gartner said.
Having fewer decision-makers involved can serve as a hedge against disappointment.
Only 15% of IT procurement decisions were made by large committees in the group surveyed by Forrester. Purchases are most frequently made either by one to two people, or in a consensus scenario, involving no more than five individuals across departments within an organization.