SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Jim Kaskade, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Greg Ness, Sean Houghton

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Technology Is Driving Business Innovation and IT Executives Are Taking the Lead

IDG Enterprise's 2014 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker Research Details IT Purchase Process and Use of Peers, Tech Content Sites and Video

FRAMINGHAM, MA -- (Marketwired) -- 02/25/14 -- IDG Enterprise -- the leading enterprise technology media company comprising Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, DEMO, CSO, CIO Executive Council, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld -- releases the results from the 2014 Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker research. The study reveals the IT roles involved at each stage of the technology purchase process, the resources relied on to stay informed on new technologies as well as vendor engagement during the purchase process.

Technology is a Business Driver and IT Executives are Leading the Charge
More than half of organizations (58%) responded that their CEO promotes technology as a critical/high priority for driving business innovation. IT is taking the lead on these initiatives as the IT purchase process begins and ends with IT executives, from determining business needs (82%) with line of business leaders to approving the purchase (70%) (see infographic). To ensure the selected technology aligns with the organizations goals and infrastructure 34% said that IT needs to sign-off on all expenditures.

IT executives rely on their teams to evaluate requirements, products and vendors for consideration. Decisions are not made in a silo, on average 17 individuals are involved in major tech purchases at enterprise companies (1,000+ employees) compared to six individuals at SMB companies (less than 1,000 employees). This has greatly increased since 2011, when enterprises were relying on 11.5 individuals and SMBs turned to five.

"Given the numerous emerging and disruptive technologies, IT executives rely on their team to research solutions for business goals and to drive innovation," said Matthew Yorke, CEO, IDG Enterprise. "With more individuals involved in IT purchases, marketers have the ability to communicate the correct message to each person based on their role in the purchase process."

IT Decision-Makers Turn to Trusted Sources During Purchase Process
IT decision-makers (ITDMs) are flooded with content on new technologies. To stay up-to-date on new technologies, they turn to trusted resources, including peers (71%), technology content sites (70%) and search engines (58%). Throughout the purchase process, more than half of IT heads will visit a vendor website for information. The majority of ITDMs (70%) stated that the credibility of vendor content increases when it is associated with a trusted third-party (Click to tweet). Video continues to be a popular tool for learning with the majority of ITDMs (88%) having watched a tech-related video in the past three months. Watching a tech related video results in ITDMs taking action; 63% research a product and 54% visit a vendor's website or contacted a vendor for more information. However, not just any video will drive engagement. Eighty-two percent of ITDMs said that the quality of video production favorably impacts their opinion of a company or product.

"Vendors have the opportunity to be a relied upon resource, which can potentially reduce the sales cycle. Building a robust content library that incorporates unbiased and well packaged materials tied to the education needs of IT decision-makers can encourage conversations and further engagement," continued Yorke.

IT Purchase Process Shorter with Familiar Vendors
Current vendors have an easier time getting on ITDMs calendars. Traditionally, ITDMs spend 4.41 hours a week with current vendors compared to 2.54 hours with vendors they are not doing business with. Heads of IT are spending more time with new vendors compared to non-IT heads (3.37 and 1.59 hours respectively), which could be tied to their need for understanding of edge and BtoC technologies entering the enterprise. Familiarity with a vendor also impacts the purchase cycle. The purchase cycle for major technology purchases with a familiar vendor is about half the amount of time (3.3 months) compared to an unfamiliar vendor (6.2 months). Minor IT purchases have a shorter purchase cycle (3.68 months) compared to major purchases (5.57 months).

To receive the complete study results contact Sue Yanovitch at [email protected].

About the IDG Enterprise Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker
IDG Enterprise's 2014 Role and Influence survey was conducted across more than 1,100 IT and security decision-makers from a range of industries. The research goal was to gain a better understanding of the evolving role and influence of technology buyers in today's corporate enterprise. All respondents are involved in at least one of the following steps in the purchase process of IT products and services: evaluation, recommending/selecting vendors, determining requirements, determining the business need, approval/authorization, or selling internally. Additionally, we surveyed 250 business leaders from the Global Market Insights panel to compare priorities among the two groups.

About IDG Enterprise
IDG Enterprise, an International Data Group (IDG) company, brings together the leading editorial brands (Computerworld, InfoWorld, Network World, CIO, CSO, ITworld, CFOworld and CITEworld) to serve the information needs of our technology and security-focused audiences. As the premier hi-tech B2B media company, we leverage the strengths of our premium owned and operated brands, while simultaneously harnessing their collective reach and audience affinity. We provide market leadership and converged marketing solutions for our customers to engage IT and security decision-makers across our portfolio of award-winning websites, events, magazines, products and services. In addition, the CIO Executive Council -- a peer advisory service -- delivers on the business, technology, and leadership needs for the world's elite CIOs and their respective staffs. IDG's DEMO conferences provide a platform for today's most innovative and eye-opening technologies to publically launch their solutions.

Company information is available at www.idgenterprise.com.
Follow IDG Enterprise on Twitter: @IDGEnterprise
Join IDG Enterprise on LinkedIn

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