By: Steve Vonder Haar
More money, more problems.
This lament of the financially well-to-do also is an apropos description of the dilemma facing executives who hold the purse strings on communications technology purchase decisions for their business.
The simple truth is that if you have money to spend on webcasting solutions, the chances are high that you’re also spending quite a few brain cycles thinking about the things that could go wrong if you pull the trigger on investing in an online video technology solution.
In a survey of 1,007 executives Wainhouse Research conducted in the fourth quarter 2013, respondents were asked to rate the importance of a series of eight factors that can influence a web communications technology purchase decision.
The issues offered for consideration in the survey cover the range of issues typically facing executives during the purchase evaluation process. In general, they address how fast solutions can be deployed, the offering’s overall level of technical sophistication, and the financial impact that would result from their deployment.
More than half of those executives holding purchase decision authority describe each and every issue as “very important” to the purchase consideration process. They care about speed. They care about technology. They care about cost.
Really, they care about everything. And certainly, those with budget authority care about these issues far more than those without direct responsibility for implementing web communications capabilities.
Among those survey respondents without control over the purse strings, no more than 45% of respondents select any single factor as a “very important” influence on adoption of these technologies.
At the very least, purchase decision makers and those without budget authority share the same financial sensibilities. In both cases, the top-ranked issue of importance was the “total cost of ownership”- cited by 61% of decision makers and 45% of those without decision authority as a “very important” factor in influencing deployment.
But that’s where the similarities end. The second-ranked factor in eyes of purchase decision makers – “selecting the technically superior solution” – sunk to nearly the bottom of the list for those without budget authority. Likewise, when asked about the importance for the information technology department to maintain control over the solution, the issue is highly rated by purchase decision makers but cited as “very important” by less than one-third of those without control over the technology budget.
So what does matter to those without direct financial authority over implementing the technology? The second-ranked issue for this group in terms of importance was the “ability to easily update platforms.”
The survey results suggest a roadmap for champions of webcasting technology trying to garner support from across an organization for implementing webcasting technologies. When speaking to those likely to be users of these solutions, just reassure them they will have access to the latest and greatest technology capabilities at a reasonable cost.
For those with budget authority, the financial side also is paramount but the technology discussion should focus more on the nuts and bolts of implementation. With decision makers, slightly greater emphasis should be placed on having a strong, technically superior foundation for a streaming deployment that can be effectively managed on a centralized basis by the information technology department.
Of course, such a discussion over the innards of a technology solution can be more involved, complex and time-consuming. But that should be no surprise. Like I said: More money, more problems.
Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org