Social Networks Drive IT Purchasing Process
- 15 November, 2012 23:58
IT purchasing decisions can be daunting, but a new study by Forrester Research and LinkedIn finds that IT decision makers (ITDMs) are relying heavily on social networks to help them through the process.
The study, "IT Purchasing Goes Social," surveyed 400 ITDMs across a range of industries throughout North America and finds that 85 percent have used at least one social network for business purposes.
More surprising, according to Mike Weir, head of category development at LinkedIn, is the extent to which ITDMs use social networks during the purchasing process.
"Social media is a critical source of influence across the entire decision-making process," he says. "Not just during the research phase. The days of people thinking of social media as just an awareness platform is gone--it's much more than that now."
Fifty-nine percent of respondents say they are influenced by at least one social network when considering business purchases--moreso than by online general media publications (46 percent).
As a result, social networks are becoming a hotbed of activity for technology marketers: 73 percent of respondents say they have engaged with an IT vendor on a social network.
"CIOs are working extremely close with the chief marketing officers," Wier says. "That presents marketers with a unique opportunity to reach these IT decision makers in ways they never could before."
ITDMs are turning to social networks now, the report says, for four reasons:
To learn from trusted peers (58 percent)
To quickly find information (40 percent)
For relevant context to connect with vendors (37 percent)
For access to a broader network (49 percent).
Of the top three social networks--Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook--ITDMs turn to LinkedIn most often to identify credentials of information sources (71 percent), to validate information from other sources (58 percent) and for a trusted channel for vendor information (55 percent).
Weir offers three tips for IT decision makers looking to tap LinkedIn during the purchasing process:
1. Follow companies. In the discovery phase of the IT purchasing process, make a list of the companies on your short list and follow them on LinkedIn.
To do so, search for the company name and hover over it on the results page. Click the "Follow Company" link, which appears in the top-right. You'll then start receiving updates from the company in your activity stream. These can include new product announcements, new hires, press releases and more.
2. Browse SlideShare. In May, LinkedIn announced its acquisition of SlideShare, a professional content sharing community.
This site, Weir says, offers a wealth of information for ITDMs in the education process. Search for presentations and information on the type of technology you're considering investing in, he says.
3. Join Groups. "Groups are a great way to follow thought leaders, learn about new technologies, discover new ideas and learn about who's the best in the business," Weir says. "Join some relevant groups, ask them questions and challenge the answers to questions you've received."
Kristin Burnham covers consumer technology, social networking and enterprise collaboration for CIO.com. Follow Kristin on Twitter @kmburnham. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline and on Facebook. Email Kristin at email@example.com
Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.
Cloud debate now about speed and sophistication
Yahoo Mail still down for some users, after an attempted fix
Queensland government to provide 200 services online by 2015
CIOs need to get their house in order, CFO panel says
Is Data Complexity Blinding Your IT Decision-Making?
San Jose Sharks Score Big with Flash from Pure Storage
Sharks Sports & Entertainment (SSE) owns and operates a number of sports properties, most notably the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. SSE began deploying a VDI environment, however as soon as 10 to 15 VDI users were added, the IT team saw an exponential decrease in performance. In this casestudy, we look at how the company has been able to easily handle the demands on applications without adding new management complexity.
Virtual Server Backup Software Buyer’s Guide
Virtualization affords organizations multiple opportunities to reduce power, optimize hardware utilization, improve application availability and ultimately drive down costs. In light of its benefits, it is no surprise that virtualization penetration has surpassed 50% of all server workloads and continues to grow. In this guide, we evaluate prominent virtual server backup software solutions and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
How to Compare Application Delivery Controllers
Application delivery controllers (ADCs) are one of the most critical elements of cloud infrastructures and enterprise data centre architectures. ADCs strongly impact performance, scale and security of the entire application environment, so it is extremely important for IT leaders to choose the right one. In this whitepaper, we look at 9 competing ways to compare ADCs and what products step up.