In this edition of Kaizo Live we welcomed Dale Vile, CEO and Distinguished Analyst at Freeform Dynamics, an IT analyst firm, to discuss the processes underlying technology buying decisions. Who decides what to buy? What do they base their decision on? And where do they get their information from?
After working as a software developer, Dale shifted to more commercial and business development roles, exposing him to both buyer and vendor sides of the equation. Dale saw a gap in the market, in terms of there being a lack of analyst material for short to medium term decision-making, leading him to form Freeform Dynamics 15 years ago. The firm tracks technology trends and developments together with the IT buying behaviour of enterprises and public sector organisations, by gathering insights from market research into how the technology market works for vendors and buyers. They also provide consultancy and advisory services to provide tactical, immediate and hands-on analytical guidance.
Dale discusses that the decision process involves three stages; the negotiation stage where projects are prioritised, the investigative stage where options available are explored and the selection stage which goes on to compare products and suppliers. He explains that the “internal sale” process, needs to ensure that all stakeholders are fully involved throughout the decision process.
Dale also touches on how the pandemic has been a catalyst for decision-making at great speed, accelerating digital transformation, which is described by Dale as a ‘must do’ decision environment to get people to work from home immediately.
In terms of what sources people use for information, peers and colleagues tops the list followed by the media and consultants. It is noted that social media is also growing as an influential channel for information, particularly on LinkedIn, where vendors are running effective communities online. Dale notes that information is being used from different sources, and it’s important to know what is being said in a practical sense and undo misconceptions that may arise.
Dale predicts that 2021 will be further accelerated by technology, where organisation will be looking to fully exploit digital transformation, not just for remote working, but also introducing workforce automation. With increasing talk of organisations wanting to “move to the cloud”, Dale comments that there may be a trend of a hybrid IT and cloud system. He notes that organisations may need help in knowing how to orchestrate and manage this mix of sources.
The full episode, hosted by Kaizo Associate Director Allan Edwards, can be viewed here. Browse our previous episodes here.