Spiceworks, an Austin, TX-based company that functions as a type of marketing channel for the IT community, has released a survey intended to identify the primary gatekeepers involved in the purchase of IT products and services.

The survey results show nearly 90 percent of IT decision makers evaluate and recommend technology solutions while less than 50 percent of business decision makers do the same. However, 47 percent of business decision makers give final approval for technology purchases compared to 22 percent of IT leaders.

The study also shows that business decision makers are more reliant on insights from IT decision makers than their business partners and peers. This is likely because IT people tend to spend more time conducting labor-intensive research, which often leads to more purchase influence during the decision making process. This is found to be especially true of major infrastructure purchases like servers, virtualization, networking, and security solutions.

When examining the most effective ways for marketers to reach either type of decision maker, the results show IT people are more receptive to webinars, online forums, and conferences where they can find educational content during the technology research phase. Business decision makers, on the other hand, tend to be more receptive to physical mail and phone calls.

Both groups are largely in sync on the most important factors in the decision-making process with reliability, security, business relevance, compatibility and cost each receiving high marks.

The survey was conducted in the fall of 2016 and included 584 IT decision makers and 305 business decision makers from North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Channel Impact®
The study can be useful in helping sales strategists to identify points of entry within the client organization. It also demonstrates the need to pursue a comprehensive approach that targets IT leaders and business leaders alike.