Making Smart IT Purchases With Social Networking -


Making Smart IT Purchases With Social Networking

By Joseph B. Kappernick

Making good purchasing decisions is very challenging for any IT buyer because it is a world full of inconsistent pricing, uncertainty, and overspending. Recently, buyers have started to use social networking as a way to gain more objectivity and level the playing field with vendors. Through social networks, they are able to access the necessary benchmarking data as well as other vendor insights to aid in complex negotiations.

Would you allow social networking to influence your IT purchasing decisions? The results from a new Forrester Research study, IT Purchasing Goes Social," show that many IT purchasers already are:

60 percent of IT purchasers surveyed have made decisions influenced by social networks

73 percent say they have engaged with a vendor using social networking

58 percent say they use social networks to learn from other IT professionals

Additional reasons for using social networks for IT decisions are:

To quickly find data

To gain insight to interact with vendors

To reach a broader network

As social networking becomes more and more influential to IT buyers, some sites are realizing the value and helping to facilitate the interactions. For example, IT Spend Management is a LinkedIn Group that provides a platform for peer networking to discuss vendor negotiation points and other business issues.

Overspending most often occurs because IT buyers are not able to determine fair market value for new technology. Vendors don't make this easy when their prices change frequently for no apparent reason. When buyers are able to compare prices with their peers on a social networking site, they gain much needed leverage for negotiations.

As the influential power of social networks is recognized by more IT purchasers, businesses will continue to benefit from the sharing of valuable information. Buyers will be able to stand on more equal footing with vendors and reduce the uncertainly and overspending so common with IT purchases.

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