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A (Possible) New Way of Categorizing Enterprise Technology Purchases

by Hank Barnes  |  December 3, 2019  |  Submit a Comment

In our studies of enterprise technology buying behaviors, we often focus broadly, looking at team-based buying in general, or by focusing on specific categories (e.g. application software or security) that too are broad.  We’ve done this largely because we see the team dynamics playing the biggest factor.   Even when we look at objectives, such as improve efficiency or support growth, we don’t see huge variances.

For us, the biggest variations always seem to come from Enterprise Technology Adoption (ETA) profile cuts or, in specific cases, industry breakdowns.

But I’m thinking there may be a way of asking our respondents to categorize their buying efforts differently that may reveal more insight.   I’d appreciate any thoughts you have on this approach–agree, disagree, refine, whatever.

What if we asked enterprise customers the focus of the investment:

Source: Gartner, Inc.

  • Internal – Technology or Services that are acquired to support the way the business is run (e.g. ERP Software)
  • Product -Technology or Services that are acquired to be used directly within products/services the company offers to the market (e.g. acquiring iPaaS that is used as the foundation of a digital service offered to customers)
  • Bridge – Technology that connects the business and customers (e.g. Chatbots for customer service)

I’m not sure about the names or descriptions are perfect.   What do you think?   3 enough?  more granularity?

I do believe we would see different behaviors, drivers, and concerns for technology for internal use vs technology that becomes part of the products offered.  Bridge technologies would be an interesting angle, with their foot in both waters.

What do you think?


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Category: go-to-market  

Tags: b2buying  categorization  

Hank Barnes
VP Distinguished Analyst
6+ years at Gartner
30+ years IT Industry

Hank Barnes explores the dynamics, challenges, and frustrations enterprises face when buying technology products and services. Using that customer-centric lens, he advises those responsible for marketing technology products and services, general managers responsible for product portfolios, and startup CEOs on next practices to drive success for their customers and their business. Read Full Bio

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