ITtoolbox, the online community enabling professional IT knowledge sharing, releases the results of the 2006 IT Purchasing Cycle Survey. This second annual survey measured trends in IT budgets, the influence of IT advertising, and the information sources that IT and business professionals trust most when researching IT purchasing decisions.

This survey includes responses from more than 2,300 IT and business professionals recruited directly from the global ITtoolbox network. When researching purchasing decisions, 77.6 percent of survey respondents indicated that they turn to experienced peers as a source of information. Online information sources followed closely as the second most relied upon information resource at 77.4 percent. When asked which source of information they trusted most when researching IT purchasing decisions, the participants overwhelming identified experienced peers as their choice.

Information Sources Used Most for IT Purchasing Decisions:

  • Experienced peers: 77.6%
  • Other online information sources: 77.4%
  • Vendor salespeople: 44.10%
  • Trade magazines: 38.10%
  • Print-based catalogs and buyer's guides: 30.90%
  • Paid research: 19.50%
  • Other: 4.40%

Most Trusted Information Sources for IT Purchasing Decisions:*

  • Experienced peers: ranked 1.63, +0.03 over 2005
  • Online information sources: ranked 2.74, +0.01 over 2005
  • Paid research: ranked 3.29, -0.08 under 2005
  • Trade magazines: ranked 3.91, -0.26 under 2005
  • Print-based catalogs and buyer's guides: ranked 4.25, +0.09 over 2005
  • Vendor salespeople: ranked 4.69, -0.06 under 2005

*average of respondents' rankings based on scale of 1 (most trusted) to 6 (least trusted)
In fact, the majority of survey respondents indicated that IT advertisements influenced their purchasing decisions. The most influential vehicles are white papers (70.5 percent), Web casts (40.4 percent), email-based ads (37.3 percent), sponsorships and microsites (34.3 percent), banner and rich media (32.4 percent) and text links (21.3 percent).

Fifty-five percent of respondents expect moderate to substantial growth in IT purchasing budgets in 2006 while only 6 percent expect their budget to decrease.

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