How to make the best tech buying decisions with 90%+ non-IT stakeholders

A close-up photo of multiple people's hands completing an all-white puzzle.Just as the technology landscape continues to evolve rapidly, the way businesses select solutions is also changing. As of late 2021, 67 percent of the people involved in tech buying decisions weren’t in IT, according to a survey conducted by Gartner. By 2025, 90 percent of the individuals weighing in on these purchasing decisions are expected to be non-IT staff members.

At the same time, buying teams contain more members than ever, with eight to 15 people typically weighing in, as another Gartner article explains. Businesses increasingly try to involve as many key stakeholders as possible when adopting new technologies that will affect the whole organization.

Without the right approach to reaching a consensus and disrupting dysfunctional internal decision-making patterns, however, a group of professionals from various departments can go down a path that everyone laments later. In fact, the same Gartner survey mentioned earlier found that 56 percent of organizations expressed a high degree of regret regarding their biggest tech purchase during the previous two years.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “Too many cooks spoil the broth.” It seems that too many stakeholders can spoil a technology decision if you aren’t careful.

The potential hazards of growing, largely non-IT buying groups

When modern businesses evaluate their technology options, the purchasing committee now likely contains leaders or representatives of various departments that the new solution will affect. The Business Buyer Insights Primer for 2023 from Gartner Research lists the following as the six core functions/departments likely to be involved:

    • Finance
    • Human resources
    • Marketing
    • Sales
    • Supply chain management
    • Customer service and support

 If people from all those departments will utilize the solution you’re planning on deploying (e.g., a cloud contact center platform or CRM software), it’s fair to want to involve them in the purchasing process and get their feedback on the options available. However, every team member has unique concerns, pain points, and priorities. This makes it difficult to reach a consensus and move forward with confidence that you won’t ultimately rue your tech selection.

In Gartner’s survey, 89 percent of the companies expressing high levels of regret about technology purchases agreed that the stakeholders involved had different and frequently conflicting goals. By contrast, only 9 percent of organizations with low regret levels reported experiencing that type of discord.

How to disrupt dysfunctional internal decision-making and avoid regret

So, if your purchasing team contains multiple people from various non-IT departments, how can you avoid conflict and increase your odds of selecting solutions that everyone’s happy with in the future? In our experience, bringing in an objective third-party firm makes a significant difference. Just as you might seek an unbiased professional counselor to address issues in your personal relationships, looking outside your organization can remedy rifts in a professional team.

Stratosphere’s technology consultants can streamline the decision-making process in the following ways:

    • Leading collective learning sessions with exclusive up-to-the-minute research and insights from our 20+ years in IT, ensuring even non-tech employees understand the ins-and-outs
    • Holding all stakeholders accountable and ensuring they participate and remain committed at every step
    • Creating a safe environment for stakeholders to share their true desires and pain points with the rest of the team

With our proven process, we can reduce or eliminate disagreement and stop the tech-buying process from stalling. We also typically save our clients dozens of hours by bringing our tech expertise, vast partner network, and advanced tools (e.g., side-by-side comparison matrices) to the table.

Don’t let mismatched priorities take your team in a direction you’ll eventually regret. Make better decisions today by calling 877-599-3999 or emailing to schedule a consultation.

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