In our latest buying study, we wanted to learn what criteria is viewed as broadly driving decision making for technology. I covered some of this last week, but there is more to the story. Once we understood the criteria that was most important to a respondent (and that respondent was aware of buying efforts for projects targeted at both internal and external use cases), we asked them a bit more. We wanted to understand if they viewed criteria differently for those two use cases, so we asked them about whether their most important criteria (basically their top two), were more important for for internal or external use cases. I found the results to be somewhat surprising. [caption id="attachment_2752" align="aligncenter" width="901"] Source: Gartner, Inc.[/caption] In nearly every category (except innovation collaboration and a tie around differentiation), the percentage of respondents who felt the criteria was more important for internal use cases exceded the opposite. For every category, the "same importance" choice was the most selected. What does this mean? Here is my interpretation: Buying teams are more used to buying for internal use cases. That familiarity causes them to lean in that direction. There may also be some feeling that internal success (or failure) is more in their control than externa There has probably not been a lot of conscious thought about approaching purchases for external use cases with different criteria (or criteria importance). This, again, plays to the familiarity. The lack of clarity is yet another sign of the opportunity for improvement in buying decision making. There will be more to this story as we continue to explore it, but for now, vendors need to recognize yet another area where they should invest in helping buyers thing through what matters most and enable them to evaluate offering based on that criteria. Does this data say something different to you? Thoughts?