I was asked by our CMO recently whether business decision makers are reading blogs, and quite frankly this is a really important question that deserves more than a yes or no answer.
My intuition tells me that the classic enterprise business decision maker, someone who we would qualify as having the authority to select and authorize a major IT project, is probably not doing a lot of blog reading. After all, at this executive level who has time in the schedule for such things, but then I saw this study that suggests a surprisingly high number of CEOs are reading blogs, using blogs for internal and external communications, and an increasing amount actually blogging themselves.
While interesting the above obscures two other realities about the state of enterprise IT. The first being that divisions and workgroups are increasingly making decisions about their own IT requirements and sidestepping traditional IT. The second reality is that CIOs and their ilk rarely make decisions in a vacuum, they are heavily influenced by their own staffs, extended advisory groups, and their professional peers.
My response to our CMO was that while I could not certify whether or not business decision makers were being influenced by blogs, I could say with a high degree of confidence that the people these decision makers rely on for influence are reading and reacting to blogs, therefore business decision makers are being influenced by blog if only by a degree of separation. Secondly, taking into account the increased fracturing of traditional IT within the enterprise, it would entirely reasonable to come to the conclusion that departmental buyers are mining blogs for information relevant to their departmental IT strategy.
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