The Buying Cycle for Tech Decision Makers

The information technology Buying Cycle is based on a simple premise: Buyer's remorse often sets in as soon as you acquire technology. In other words, the Buying Cycle is a cycle because you're always looking for game-changing technologies, tweaking old ones, or looking to replace something.

With that backdrop in mind, we're organizing our content across TechRepublic and ZDNet based on the Buying Cycle, and we've broken it down into five stages. We realize that a lot of companies are in several of these stages at once during a project.

1. Discover

Here is where you are constantly scanning to find developing technologies that could potentially transform your business and/or replace an existing product that is holding back your company. You track news, keep up on vendor health, and discover new players and products.

2. Investigate

Once you target technologies that could have an impact, it’s time to take it a step further and do some homework. At this point, you're getting interested in acquiring a technology but still have work to do before you make a decision.

3. Compare

Once you decide that you want a new technology solution, it’s time to start evaluating and comparing vendors and products. This stage is all about reading product evaluations and learning what your peers have to say about working with various products and vendors.

4. Justify

Businesses need real returns on technology and the executives who make technology decisions need to convince the folks with the budget to make a move. This stage is about reading case studies and evaluating potential ROI.

5. Optimize

Once you've purchased a technology, the process turns to making a smart implementation, getting your staff up to speed, and continually optimizing and updating to make the solution run like clockwork.

If you get frustrated in the Optimization phase (stage 5) – either because a product didn't live up to expectations or it is no longer meeting all of your needs – then you cycle back into the Discover phase where you start scanning for a new solution that could turn things around.

Content across TechRepublic and ZDNet is mapped to these Buying Cycle stages, with icons representing each part of the Buying Cycle in order to help you find more resources for your mission, based on the stage of the cycle you are in at any given time.

If you have any questions or suggestions around the Buying Cycle and how it can help you get the most out of technology for your business, please contact us here.


Larry Dignan
Editor in Chief, ZDNet

Jason Hiner

Jason Hiner
Editor in Chief, TechRepublic