Millward Brown IntelliQuest released its CIMS 2004 Studies showing a positive outlook of growth and recovery for the technology industry. The IntelliQuest CIMS Studies are the industry standard in measuring purchase behavior of technology influencers in both the business and home categories. There are currently 90.3 million adults who influence technology purchasing in the United States.

Forty percent of the projected 34.5 million business technology influencers say the most important initiative in their businesses in the next 12 months is improved security. It remains the number one priority even when looking at size of company or at the two key influencer segments (MIS/IT and senior managers). The second top initiative, cited by 36 percent of influencers, is to update aging systems. This seems to be more important in mid-size (100-999 employees) and large-size companies (1,000 plus employees), as reported by more than half of MIS/IT influencers.

The products and services that influencers will focus their spending on are in line with their top initiatives. Excluding telecommunications and support services, software, networking, and systems initiatives rank as the top expenditure categories with average future spending of $84,325 in the software category, $38,759 in networking equipment, and $35,556 in systems. Large companies continue to have the majority of "plan-to-spend dollars." Ranking number one in large companies is software, with average influencer expenditures expected to be $202,724; networking equipment is second with average expenditures at $113,362, and systems is third, with average expenditures at $82,769. Twenty-six percent of influencers also tell us that before spending, they will consider two or more brands.

With updating aging systems cited among the top two priorities, the study shows that 11.9 million technology buying influencers plan to purchase systems for their companies. Close to 8.6 million influencers plan to buy desktops, another 3.6 million plan to buy laptops/notebooks, and 4.5 million plan to purchase handhelds. Performance desktops/laptops or notebooks are more likely to be purchased by influencers in large companies, where 67 percent plan to purchase desktops, and 62 percent plan to purchase laptops/notebooks. The average planned expenditures are highest in large companies with influencers allocating an average of $67,209 for desktops and $35,416 for laptops/notebooks. Overall, 95 percent of the business technology influencer universe have purchased tech products/services in the past 12 months or intend to purchase in the next 12 months with 82 percent stating future purchase intent.


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