How Do Enterprise Buyers Research New Software?

A few weeks ago, I wanted to know what role “social” plays in researching enterprise software.  Every one of the billion dollar companies that responded to my inquiry said that blogs, social networks (from Twitter to LinkedIn), and online forums weighed heavily in their initial research and opinion formulation process.  Of course, the traditional research houses (Gartner, Forrester, IDC)  are still the strongest sources of unbiased insights and strategic guidance on large enterprise software.  But, the emphasis on searching social sources for initial inquiries confirmed what I believe strongly –  if you’re selling enterprise software, you need to be a part of the conversation online.

After a very long-threaded discussion, we came up with this mapping to indicate where sources fit in the context of a very nuanced process to research new software players. See if it resonates with you.

This map courtesy of Joachim Stroh.


In related research news, I have had the pleasure this year to work with Jane McConnell on developing input to her annual Digital Workplace Trends report.  I suggested she develop a customized Digital Workplace Scorecard for this year’s report.  It will be very handy to track these scorecards over time as enterprises mature.  It can become a benchmark to demonstrate the material returns on transformation initiatives.  The research will be done in February,  and I’m looking forward to presenting it here in the U.S.  You have until October 28 to contribute to the survey.  Learn more here.

As you should know, we are working hard on Change Agents Worldwide.  We are currently testing our models in the market with customers.  Once we’ve moved a few customers through our unique approach to delivering on the business of world-changing, we will be making a formal announcement that explains our goals for the company.  As always, feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

Author: Susan Scrupski

Longtime fan of technology to improve humanity.

  • Andrew Carusone

    I love your articles and point of view Susan. No none wants E20 to succeed more than you. You truly get it when discussing the value of collaboration.

    However, many years in – and now stairing at ghost towns of the first wave and early adopters…it’s time to get “real” with ourselves regarding why there was only spotty victories and water cooler illusions rather than true realization of what Andrew McAfee envisioned.

    (Copyright 2016 (c) Andrew Carusone) There should be more blog entries related the reasons why E20 failed to launch:

    1. Cultures which reward working in an atmosphere of competitive isolation vs ones which reward a responsibility to share and a burden to te
    2. IT installation prior to culture change realization first
    3. Failure to launch and adopt “internal Communications 2.0” before collaboration 2.0

    We continue to focus on messaging (like we did 40,000 years ago with cave paintings) vs. building meaning and understanding in an attempt to drive higher levels of commitment and business performance.

    {Language Warning}

    1. Replace baseball with “internal communications”

    2. Why change fail 70% of the time:

    • Andrew, I’m sad to say, I cannot agree with you more. I was just having a conversation this week with Bjoern Negelmann who is holding what was the “E20 Summit” in Paris this summer, and suggested a serious research study should be done to analyze the failures. I think you’ve nailed the essence of why in this comment. Forever the optimist, however, I must state for the record there are successes in the market. Those should be highlighted as well. Even some of the most earliest of adopters are still going strong. I may follow up with you on this separately, but thanks so much for commenting here.

      • Andrew Carusone

        Do you have me email address?

        E20 didn’t fall.

        It’s not air. Not everyone needs it. It’s like a broom. The use of collaboration technology is a direct reflection of the nature of the work being done. The more your separated from others doing the same work, the more complex your work…the more collaborative technology will be a help.

        If every is standing next to each other, peeling potatoes, e20 isn’t needed or valuable. If everyone on a team works in different locations and their expertise varies…then e20 makes more sense.

        • Yes. I have your Lowe’s email address (unless it changed). I will be in touch. This is an important discussion.