In a word – “pragmatic”. While the current technology evolution has media outlets like TechTarget filled with discussions on cloud computing, big data, and mobility/BYOD, CIOs state their top concerns revolve around risk management, virtualization, and the health of their networking infrastructure. In fact, fewer than 1 in 5 CIOs surveyed said they had a ‘cloud first’ mentality – opting to use cloud solutions whenever possible. Most CIOs, 3 out of 5, described their approach to cloud computing as ‘pragmatic’ – considering cloud alternatives where it makes sense. They’re also pragmatic about their suppliers – with some 35% saying they will consider new suppliers for every significant purchase, while 65% say they will consider new suppliers only when their current suppliers cannot fulfill their needs.
For marketers, the takeaway from all of this research is that most CIOs are practical, rooted in the problems of today, and willing to consider new vendors and new solutions when it makes sense. To achieve this, marketers should follow the following guidelines:
1. Keep discussions strategic. Talk about how your solution works today, and describe how you think it will fit in 3 years into the future given the current trends in technology. CIO’s refer to this as “helping me see around corners”. They expect that you have the same planning horizon as them.
2. Tactical discussions should include how use of your solution will improve operating margins, reducing operating or materials costs, or increasing top-line revenue. This is how the CIO is going to have to discuss your product with their peers.
3. Be available. Make sure your products and solutions can be found by CIOs and their teams by advertising to active researchers on the most appropriate TechTarget community for your technology.