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New Buyers, New Habits Alter the Technology Marketplace

May 16, 2017

CompTIA study examines shifts in the technology evaluation and purchasing process

Downers Grove, Ill. – Executives from finance, marketing, sales, logistics, and other departments and business lines play an increasingly central role in the evaluation, purchase and use of technology solutions, according to a new report released today by CompTIA, the world’s leading technology association.

“CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience are valued,” said Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “But business lines are clearly flexing their muscles. It’s another strong signal that technology has shifted from a supporting function for business to a strategic asset.”

Among the 675 U.S. businesses surveyed for the CompTIA report “Considering the New IT Buyer”, 45 percent said that ideas about technology come from different areas of the organization; and 36 percent said more executives are involved in the decision making. More than half of respondents (52 percent) used business unit budget to pay for technology purchases in the last year.

Lines of business are also staffing their departments with technology-oriented job roles, from data scientists and business analysts to software developers and social media managers. (For more on this trend, see “More Technology Workers Finding Homes in Business Units, CompTIA Study Reveals”.)

This shift is impacting the entire IT channel – vendors, distributors and solution providers, according to April.

“The amount of green-field, untapped space for business is huge,” April continued. “But lines of business have little knowledge or interaction with the channel. It’s incumbent on the channel to get their faces in front of line of business leaders.”

Much of what business lines are buying are cloud-based software solutions which can be self-provisioned quickly within a department. For that reason, channel partners need to package what they sell differently.

“They need to speak the language of business because this new generation of buyers doesn’t want to hear about the technical implications of their purchases,” April explained. “Channel partners need to position themselves as consultants and service providers who can help customers make informed decisions about what they buy.”

The CompTIA study “Considering the New IT Buyer” is based on a February 2017 online survey of 675 U.S. businesses.

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The Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) is the world's leading technology association, with approximately 2,000 member companies, 3,000 academic and training partners, over 100,000 registered users and more than two million IT certifications issued. CompTIA's unparalleled range of programs foster workforce skills development and generate critical knowledge and insight – building the foundation for technology’s future. Visit CompTIA online, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to learn more. 


Steven Ostrowski
[email protected]­