IT resellers and distributors need to adapt their business models to take into account the greater influence that non-IT executives, such as marketing and sales professionals, are having on technology evaluations and purchases, warns technology association CompTIA in a new report, “Considering the New IT Buyer”.
More than one quarter (27%) said that final decisions on technology purchases were now made by individuals or groups other than the IT department.
Carolyn April, senior director, industry analysis at CompTIA, said: “CIOs and information technology (IT) teams remain involved in the process, as their expertise and experience is valued. 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.”
She added: “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. 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. Channel partners need to position themselves as consultants and service providers who can help customers make informed decisions about what they buy.”
A separate CompTIA study has identified a growing trend for lines of business to staff their departments with technology-oriented job roles, from data scientists and business analysts to software developers and social media managers.