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Where Do IT Executives Go to Learn About New Technology?

Learning about new technology has become a pull-down medium as IT Executives are seeking information customized to their needs and organization. So how do CIOs find out about new technology? Where do they go to find what’s interesting to them? Illuminas asked their Insight Exchange IT Executives and the answers might change the way you think about your marketing approach.

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Circle size indicates the number of mentions by participants.   

Peer Network
  • Feedback for a more complete assessment

  • Knowing the product has been tested by a trusted source

  • Confidence that the information is unbiased

Peer Network

Relying on their peer network is seen as the best way to solicit unbiased reviews of technology. Communicating with peers provides valuable insight into how technology works across companies with similar environments or industries. Whether connecting through blogs, online forums or networking events – IT Executives are looking to others in similar roles for guidance on technology solutions.

It is important to remember that IT Executives don’t determine which solutions to utilize alone. One key to successfully influencing IT Executives is by not only targeting the top decision maker, but other influencers around them.

"I also network where possible and I find that speaking with peers who have "gone first" is a helpful way to learn about new technology; did it live up to the promise, is it supportable, reliability, cost, applicability, etc."

"This route [reaching out to peers] seems to be a way where you can accurately pose a need and receive unbiased information from someone that has used or tested the specific technology you are seeking.”

Tech websites
  • Web searches allow for self-paced research

  • Can sign up for newsletters or alerts to get highlights

Technology Publications/News

IT Executives utilize technology publications and news sources as a non-committal way to investigate new and emerging technology. They can then read about technology topics of interest and decide if it is something worth looking into further. This allows them to avoid unwanted sales calls and vendor emails if they are not interested in the offering. 


IT Executives turn to tech-focused publications (e.g. Tech Crunch, CNET) and major newspapers (e.g. WSJ, NY Times) when they want to conduct their own research. They love to browse these websites and also subscribe to their emails and social media highlights on the subjects that interest them. This allows for further investigation should they see a solution they find interesting.

"I read a lot, so most of the technology that I dig into deeper to understand is something that I came across while reading technology or industry specific publication."

"If there is something really revolutionary - the big news blasts are helpful - and some I have found in the major papers (NYT) and even on the newscasts like CNN or MSNBC or Mad Money Cramer if it is a market changer!"

  • Vendor/VAR understands business needs & sales cycle

  • Vendors/VARS can provide demos and POC’s​


Vendors and VARs are seen as a trusted source for learning about new technologies, tools and services. Senior IT Executives prefer vendors/VARs they trust and already do business with. This relationship between IT Executives & vendors/VARs makes way for a deeper understanding of how to address specific IT issues they or similar organizations may be facing now and in the future.


Senior IT decision makers trust that vendors and VARs understand their problems and needs, and are able to recommend a solution that will work best for their company. Show clients you can provide them with details beyond the standard marketing pitch - Why is this useful for their environment? How does this benefit their company and others that are similar? Is there a way to test/demo the solution?

“I think what grabs our attention is a vendor that makes it known that other organizations that have similarities and are engaged with their offerings and successful.”

“We try to concentrate our spend with a group of suppliers. My expectation of those suppliers (and some are better than others) is that they will bring solutions to my attention that they understand are applicable to our business.”

  • Provides the opportunity to explore technologies in depth

  • Can interact with business leaders & engineers
    knowledgable about products and solutions


Events such as conferences, webinars, and seminars are seen as a great way to get information on specific topics without fear of a hard sell. IT Executives can explore new products and trends to see if they apply to business needs, then reach out to vendors when more information is needed. Having the ability to directly interact with or see products in motion is also a large draw for IT Executives to go to various events. 


Having representation at a variety of events for your target market allows the opportunity to show in real-time the details and benefits of your offerings. IT Executives enjoy the time for hands on experiences, briefings on product and solutions, and examples of successful implementations. 

"Conferences and seminars are always best – especially when the content drives below the initial marketing pitch and gets to relevant details, business benefits, and lessons learned."

“I find that when I attend conferences on relevant topics whether it be for my industry or on technology in general, I learn more about new technologies – and gives me the opportunity to explore that technology on my own rather than being bombarded with cold calls.”

Industry Trade pubs
  • Allows for exploration & comparison of different tools in the market place

  • Provides opportunities to connect with peers

Industry Analysts

Industry analysts provide a valuable service by offering a way to explore and compare different offerings in a single place. The insights they provide allow IT Executives to get an understanding of new offerings that may benefit their company and see across all the offerings available in the market.  


Industry analysts are seen as a useful resource for a complete and unbiased analysis of an entire market segment. IT Executives want industry expert opinions that compare and differentiate offerings in order to help determine which option is best for their company.

"Gartner has proved invaluable to my organization in terms of providing outstanding analysis and recommendations on new technologies as well as organizations that help to develop or implement them. In addition, Gartner provides a great service in linking me to peers based on needs and value."

"When I need to zoom in on a technology or a trend, I do my own research via the Internet, Gartner, Forrester, technology portals, etc. I then reach out to a few vendors to go deeper if needed."

Findings are based on a discussion among 27 IT executives on the Illuminas Insight Exchange.

For more information about our IT community, or to ask a question,
please contact us here or click below to visit our websites:

 Illuminas is a global, independent market research company with offices in Austin, New York and London. Illuminas Austin is heavily focused on B2B technology market research and has decades of experience working with industry leaders such as Cisco, Google, VMware and many more. For more information about the Insight Exchange or other Illuminas services you can email us or call us at: 512.652.2700

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