New twitter friend Steven Groves sent me this helpful report from IT Toolbox (links at bottom go to PDF) that provides data to how decision makers and analysts in IT departments use social media in their day to day lives –including decision making. This is the second wave in their series, I saw the first one and also found it helpful.
Here’s some important findings: “IT decision-maker and influencer audiences spend more time consuming or participating in social media than they do consuming editorial media or vendor content.” No reason to be surprised here, why read irrelevant content when you can connect with trusted peers?
“Executive decision-makers spend nearly 4 hours per week consuming or participating in social media – the highest usage profile.” Compared to other members in the survey, I actually found this surprising, I was under the impression that these folks would spend less time online using these tools.
Now why do IT professionals learn and communicate with each other on forums, social networks, and blogs? Well first of all these tools are native to them, being the ‘geeks’ of the company (I was in IT at Exodus). Secondly, their world is moving fast and technologies are changing, and lastly there are infinite flavors of how technology can be re-arranged and implemented, so speaking to a wide base of peers is critical.
Although I used their last report in my role at my last company, I wish I had this specific survey when I was deploying social media at HDS (we were reaching to IT decision makers) it would have helped my program.
I know that the IT Toolbox is owned by Corporate Executive Board, who offer some similar services to my current employer, (yup, a competitor) but if there’s one thing I learned from working with Robert Scoble is that if you think of customers first (including sending them elsewhere) they’ll come back, it’s about trust.
For other analyst resources, see this compilation I created: List of Resources, Profiles, Indexes, Blogs, Companies and Information for the Analyst Industry.