In research, the only thing better than asking people what they do or think is to actually watch what they do and then be certain about it. Our BT Trax tool has recently been upgraded with functionality that among many new things, reports demographic data gathered from registered users who download directory resources.
And when reviewing the data from our ongoing IT Priorities research we can now get a feel for who uses our directory of vendor resources to investigate the most popular IT projects such as VoIP, ERP, Storage Area Networks (SAN), and Web services. A chart shows a breakdown of IT/IS job roles and non-IT/IS job roles that have downloaded information such as white papers, case studies, tools, and Webcasts over the last six months.
As you'd expect, the majority of resources downloaded are from the IT/IS side of the house. Technology consultants are the biggest group; averaging about one-fifth of all downloads across the topics. Twenty percent of those individuals downloading resources for VoIP are Network Technologists, while 25% of the same group downloaded information about SANs. Web services drew the most developers at 30% of all downloads.
On the business side, executives, directors, and managers only accounted for a handful of activity, but it’s worth pointing out that 20% of all downloads for ERP information were done so by non-IT/IS roles below the manager level. This underscores the extent to which ERP has left the back office and permeated throughout organizations. The bottom line, however, is that most of the heavy lifting, or case building, is at the hands of the technologists.
We'll keep track of trends in these these demographics in future analyses, and I predict growth in the presence of non-IT job roles utilizing resources for a variety of maturing technologies, such as in the case of ERP and CRM.