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Role & Influence of Technology Decision-Makers

An Image Depicting Role & Influence of the Technology Decision-Maker

The recent IDG Enterprise survey, “Role & Influence of Technology Decision-Makers,” revealed several informative findings:

Which of the following best describes how your company’s IT organization is structured today?

  • 55%: Centralized
  • 37%: Federated
  • 8%: Decentralized

What constitute the Core Functional Responsibilities within IT?

  • 74% Overall: Collaboration with Departments Outside of IT on Projects or Technology Needs
  • 70% Overall: Setting IT Standards and Policies
  • 67% Overall: Setting IT Project Goals
  • 51% Overall: IT Department Budget Responsibility
  • 55% Overall: Vendor Contract Negotiations: Overall
  • 48% Overall: Setting Business Standards and Policies
  • 44% Overall: Setting Business Project Goals: Overall

Do CEOs recognize the importance of technology?

  • 3%: Not a Priority
  • 3%: Not Sure
  • 7%: Low Priority
  • 17%: Critical Priority
  • 29%: Moderate Priority
  • 41%: High Priority

In general, 58% say their CEOs promote technology as a critical/high priority for business innovation.

With whom do you collaborate on a regular basis? Note that the collaboration mix changes by title.

IT Management collaborates with an average of 4.2 people.

  • 61%: IT staff
  • 55%: CIO
  • 54%: IT Management
  • 45%: Line of Business
  • 45%: Steering Committee
  • 44%: IT Liaison

Executive IT collaborates with an average of 3.4 people.

  • 45%: CEO
  • 42%: IT Staff
  • 38%: CFO
  • 32%: LOB
  • 30%: CIO

Business Management collaborates with an average of 3.2 people.

  • 42%: CIO
  • 40%: Line of Business
  • 33%: IT Liaison
  • 31%: CEO
  • 27%: IT staff

IT Professionals collaborates with an average of 2.5 people.

  • 76%: IT staff
  • 35%: IT Management
  • 26%: CIO
  • 25%: IT Liaison
  • 22%: CTO

What is the estimated total number of people, on average, involved in influencing major enterprise technology purchases within your organization?

  • Overall: 10
  • Centralized: 9
  • Federated: 12
  • Decentralized: 11

Technology Decision-Makers – What is the minimum dollar amount that requires your (IT Exec) signature for IT expenditures?

Average minimum signing authority:

  • 2011 $61,816
  • 2012 $58,177
  • 2014 $63,248
  • 2015 $67,004

26% of total respondents reported that regardless of purchase size, all IT expenditures require their signature.  

If you find cost savings within your existing technology budget, are you able to reallocate those funds on a discretionary basis, as opposed to giving those funds back to the bottom line?

Flexibility to reallocate funds:

  • 22%: Not Applicable
  • 19%: No
  • 58%: Yes

But the rules change for reallocating funds by title:

  • Executive IT: 12% Not Applicable, 16% No, 72% Yes
  • Business Management: 28% Not Applicable, 22% No, 50% Yes
  • IT Management: 21% Not Applicable, 25% No, 54% Yes
  • IT Professionals: 49% Not Applicable, 22% No, 29% Yes

Considering major enterprise IT purchases, what is the average purchase cycle for a vendor with whom you are already familiar or have experience with, compared to the purchase cycle for an unfamiliar vendor?

Purchase cycle longer for enterprises:

  • Familiar Vendor <1,000 employees: 3 months
  • Familiar Vendor 1,000+ employees: 4 months
  • Unfamiliar Vendor <1,000 employees: 6 months
  • Unfamiliar Vendor 1,000+ employees: 7 months

Average sales cycle is one month longer for enterprises.

Considering all enterprise IT purchases, what is the average purchase cycle for a major enterprise IT purchase compared to the purchase cycle for minor/smaller IT purchases?

Cycle nearly doubles for major IT purchases:

  • Minor IT purchases 3.68 months
  • Major IT purchase 5.57 months

Overall, peers remain the #1 source of tech Information:

  • 77%: Peers Technology
  • 74%: Content sites
  • 72%: Technology vendors
  • 62%: White papers
  • 60%: Webcasts/Webinars/Web video
  • 57%: Events
  • 53%: Newsletters
  • 51%: Research
  • 49%: Technology print publications
  • 47%: Online communities, discussion forums
  • 43%: User groups
  • 35%: Business content sites
  • 33%: Blogs
  • 30%: Virtual conferences
  • 29%: Video clips
  • 27%: Business print publications
  • 21%: Mobile feeds/updates
  • 18%: Infographics

Where are Peers Found?

  • Inside your company 54%
  • Outside your company 60% via phone, email, in-person
  • Through social media 41%

How do Prospects Engage With Tech Vendors

  • 54% via vendor website
  • 50% via phone, email, in-person
  • 24% via social media

What is the maximum desired length you prefer for the following types of technology-related content?

Attention span is longer than expected:

  • Webcasts/web shows: 16.52 (viewing in minutes)
  • Interactive video: 14.03 (viewing in minutes)
  • In-depth product reviews: 13.65 (viewing in minutes)
  • How-to-videos: 12.23 (viewing in minutes)
  • Interviews with industry experts: 9.62 (viewing in minutes)
  • Industry research/tech analyst reports: 9.67 (viewing in minutes)
  • Technology news reports/live coverage on news events: 6.86 (viewing in minutes)
  • First-look product overviews: 6.63 (viewing in minutes)
  • Podcast or online audio clip: 10.45 (listening in minutes)
  • Calculators, interactive worksheet, assessment tools: 8.21 (usage in minutes)
  • Research survey results/analyst research: 4.52 (pages)
  • White papers/case studies: 4.34 (pages)

In a typical work-week, how many hours do you spend meeting with: current technology vendors (vendors whose products/services you currently use/employ) AND technology vendors that you’re not currently doing business with?

Minimal time spent with vendors (in hours):

  • 0 hours – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 33%, Current Vendors: 17% (68% of IT Departments spend 1 hour or less with vendors they are not already doing business with)
  • 1 – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 35%, Current Vendors: 20% (68% of IT Departments spend 1 hour or less with vendors they are not already doing business with)
  • 2 – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 14%, Current Vendors: 20%
  • 3 – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 5%, Current Vendors: 8%
  • 4 – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 3%, Current Vendors: 8%
  • 5 – Vendors Not Doing Business With 4%, Current Vendors 12%
  • 6 to 7 – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 1%, Current Vendors: 2%
  • 8 to 10 – Vendors Not Doing Business With: 3%, Current Vendors: 7%
  • More than 10 hours: Vendors Not Doing Business With: 2%, Current Vendors: 5%

How Much Time do Enterprise Customers Spend with Vendors?

  • IT Departments spend an average of 4.11 hours/week meeting with current vendors.
  • IT Departments spend an average of 2.14 hours/week meeting with prospective vendors.
    • Prospective Vendors 72% (traditional vendors)
    • Prospective Vendors 28% (new or emerging vendors or startups)

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