Research Outline

IT Purchase Decisions


To determine how business leaders in Canada make IT and cyber security purchasing decisions. The research should aim to answer the following questions:
  • Why do business owners, COOs, and IT departments choose the IT infrastructure providers they do, and what decision criteria do they follow?
  • What are business owners, COOs, and IT department's barriers to switching IT providers?
  • Where do business owners, COOs, and IT departments look for information to stay informed, and what influences their thinking around the business?
  • What motivational factors affect business owners, COOs, and the IT department's interest and decision-making (financial, operational, etc.) around IT infrastructure?
  • How open are business owners, COOs, and IT departments to cloud-based (versus on-premise) IT solutions?
  • Who do the key decision-makers tend to be within this cohort when it comes to purchasing (owner, president, IT dept) IT infrastructure?

Early Findings

  • A recent survey was conducted of Canadian businesses regarding top buying critiera when it comes to technology buying. However, the results of this survey are locked behind a paywall. Additional related surveys that have been found that are also pay walled include this survey and this survey.
  • 63% of business buyers in Canada said they switched vendors due to a rival offering a better experience.
  • A survey of business owners in Canada found that when making a purchase decision, business owners consider the following factors: the product does what it claims (36%), the product delivers on ROI (26%), the product makes things easier (22%), and the product makes customers happy (15%). Owners are also looking to ensure that their purchase decisions will add value, increase revenue, and reduce costs. Customer testimonials (53%) and personal trials (64%) are the biggest factors that ensure an owner can be confident in their purchase, while customer case studies (47%) and vendor demonistrations (36%) are also helpful.
  • North American businesses are more likely than European businesses to increase spending in order to upgrade outdated infrastructure.
  • "Many companies cannot recruit the internal talent needed because there is a shortage of cybersecurity experts, leading them to invest in managed security services. Cloud-based security offerings are also becoming more attractive to companies, with McKinsey estimating that they will comprise 60 percent of security products by 2020, up from 10 percent in 2015."
  • A survey of businesses conducted by Spiceworks found that close to 90% of IT decision makers in a business are responsible for evaluating and recommending technology solutions, while the same is true for only 50% of bussiness decision makers. Despite this, the survey also found that 47% of business decision makers are the ones who give the final approval of a technology purchase decision, which was found to be true for only 22% of IT decision makers. This survey included the results of hundreds of IT and business decision makers in North America and the EMEA.

Results from Early Findings

  • Information has been found which helps to answer many of the questions posed, however, this information appears to be largely locked behind paywalls, especially information that is specific to IT infrastructure purchasing and Canadian businesses. This is likely due to the niche nature of this request compounded with the fact that Canada is a comparatively smaller market overall.
  • Despite these challenges, this research can be effectively conducted by allowing for some scope expansion as needed. This is becasue the initial research found that it was possible to find helpful related insights such as the purchase decisions of business owners in Canada in general, survey data about technology purchase decisions at businesses in general, data relevant to the U.S., which is a culturally similar market, as well as data about North America as a whole.
  • Much of the information needed for this requests must be harvested from a plethora of surveys, which means the specificity of the available data is highly limited. Expanding the scope can allow our team to focus on specifics (IT infrastructure purchase buying decisions in Canada) while also including related insights that help to support and expand upon these specifics. Collectively this information helps to illustrate logical answers to the initial questions posed.