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IT decision-makers – purchasing decisions

IT decision-makers – purchasing decisions

Key findings:

  • Technology purchase decision-making becomes less centralized around IT as more stakeholders are involved in the process.
  • Investment in technology accelerated during the pandemic, led by remote work solutions, cloud services, and cybersecurity.
  • Security and reliability are the most important factors in choosing a vendor, underscoring the importance of solutions in meeting these basic but essential requirements.
  • Most IT decision makers open to new or emerging vendors over more established  players for their purchases, primarily driven by cost savings.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility values are highly impactful on IT purchasing decisions, with most ITDMs saying they would stop purchasing from a vendor if a vendor made a business decision that conflicted with their organization’s values.

Non-IT stakeholders play increasing role in IT purchasing decisions

Software and technology purchase decision-making expands beyond IT, as more stakeholders have a say in the process. Only half of all IT decision makers say that final IT purchasing decisions are made by a single decision maker (48%), with the other half requiring a committee or team (52%).

  • Nearly three in four (72%) technology buyers say that end users have a say in the decision-making process
  • One in three (32%) say non-IT stakeholders influence purchasing decisions
  • Four in ten (42%) say that some teams have the autonomy to make their own purchases

Remote work has also changed the decision-making process: 

  • 50% say purchasing decisions take more time to make, compared with 25% who say they take less time or saw no impact due to remote work
  • More say purchasing decisions involve fewer stakeholders (42%) than more (28%) or a similar amount (30%) due to remote work

Investment in technology accelerates during the pandemic

Within the last year, companies have accelerated their digital transformation plans, with three in four (74%) IT decision makers say their organization accelerated adoption of existing software or technology, and a similar proportion (70%) accelerated the purchase of new software or technology purchases.

  • 60% say their organization increased adoption of video conferencing solutions
  • 55% increased focus on cloud-based collaboration tools
  • 55% increased spending on cybersecurity
  • 54% invested in infrastructure for remote work
  • 46% accelerated migration toward cloud-based or hosted services

A majority (60%) say that their organization’s current spending on IT purchases is higher than before the pandemic, compared with 27% who say spending has remained about the same, and 13% lower than before the pandemic. 

Attitudes toward investing in technology are similarly positive:

  • 62% say modernizing currently technology is necessary to stay up to date
  • 56% say investing in technology provides a competitive advantage
  • 54% say operational efficiency and cost savings drives their technology strategy
  • 54% say technology is essential to achieving growth goals
  • 42% say their organization is committed to overall digital transformation company-wide
  • Only 3% say they are not actively investing in technology

Looking forward to the next 12 months, most IT decision-makers expect to upgrade existing solutions with more functionality (70%) or are looking for additional solutions to their infrastructure/stack (63%).

  • Roughly half (47%) expect to add more seats to existing deployments
  • One in four (23%) expect to replace existing solutions with new providers

Most IT decision makers open to new or emerging vendors for their purchases

Most IT decision makers have shown a willingness to try out new vendors for their technology solutions: nearly three in four (73%) say that more than a quarter of their technology purchases within the last year were from new vendors

  • 94% are ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to consider a new vendor when making technology purchasing decisions
  • 83% are ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to consider vendors that are newer to the market over more established vendors

Cost savings most common reason for considering emerging vendors over category leaders

More than half (54%) of IT decision makers cite cost savings as their reason for considering an emerging vendor over more established players:

  • 43% cite greater customization or flexibility of the solution
  • 42% cite innovative solutions from the emerging vendor
  • 39% cite faster response and turnaround times
  • 34% cite recommendations from peers and the industry
  • 34% cite strategic partnerships
  • 30% cite failure of existing vendors in addressing business needs
  • 29% cite proven viability or use cases 
  • 23% cite post-sales support
  • 8% cite a directive from upper management

Security and reliability most important factor in choosing a vendor

When considering a vendor, IT decision-makers look for security and reliability as the leading reasons for selection. Addressing business needs, flexibility and availability of the solution, and compatibility with existing systems trail slightly, but are still among the most important criteria.

Familiarity and existing relationships with vendors, and category market share are the least important factors for IT decision makers, highlighting opportunities for new or emerging vendors. 

Most Important Criteria when Selecting a Vendor
MaxDiff Analysis

Vendors’ Corporate Social Responsibility values highly impactful on IT purchasing decisions

Most IT decision makers say a vendor’s Corporate Social Responsibility values play a role in selecting the vendors they work with, with 90% saying that CSR is ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ to the decision making process. A similar proportion (89%) say that they are ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ to stop purchasing from a vendor if they made a business decision that conflicted with their organization’s values.

Read more about our polling methodology here.