Got buyers' remorse after spending on tech? You're not alone, says survey

Buyers' remorse is a common feeling in enterprise tech, and high-tech vendors are also confused by incompetent buyers.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer
Image: Getty Images/Marco VDM

If you find yourself wishing you could change your mind after making an expensive tech purchase, then you may have some sympathy for businesses that end up suffering from buyers' remorse after spending big sums on technology.

Over half of companies said they had "a high degree of purchase regret" after making their largest technology-related purchase, according to a survey by analyst firm Gartner. 

The phase of buyers' remorse apparently is most raw after making the purchase but before implementing the technology. Gartner surveyed 1,120 respondents in North America, Western Europe and Asia Pacific between November and December 2021. 

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Gartner suggests the dynamics of buying and selling big-ticket technology items has changed, making it harder for vendors to identify the right people to talk to in a business.

"The high regret feelings are at their peak for tech buyers that have not started implementation, indicating significant frustration with the buying experience," said Hank Barnes, a distinguished VP analyst at Gartner

"In the past, it was relatively easy for product leaders to predict who buyers were, but no longer. Buying team dynamics are changing and customers can find buying to be a real challenge."      

Barnes notes that organizations reporting a high level of regret from purchases took seven to 10 months longer to complete the deal. Also, the survey found that 67% of people involved in purchasing a technology solution aren't from the IT department. 

"Slow purchase decisions can lead to frustrated teams, wasted time and resources and even, potentially, slower growth for the company."    

In his view, there's now a divide between organizations that are confident adopters and buyers of technology and those that are not. 

Barnes reckons the democratization of technology in business is driving this divide among end-user organizations. He's previously argued that because more people outside the IT department are involved in purchases, it's created a "crisis of competence and confidence" among buyers.  

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