Convincing Indiana CIOs to buy technology from Indiana tech companies isn't as difficult as it once was. In fact, many CIOs are eager to "buy local" and put their money where their mouth is as long as the products and services are equal to or superior than out-of-state tech.
The biggest obstacle to buying local today isn't quality or availability, it's awareness.
I experienced this first hand yesterday during the Evanta CIO Summit. As a host sponsor for the event, TechPoint had the opportunity to share materials with the 200 or so CIOs in attendance, so we quickly pulled the most relevant info from our Mira Awards data archive and created a "Buy Local" Tech List for Indiana IT Leaders.
While this quick turnaround list is by no means comprehensive, it's a great start for increasing awareness among tech-buying decision makers. I can't tell you how many times I handed out one of these sheets and heard an Indiana CIO remark that they didn't realize this company or that company was also here in Indiana.
We've reached critical mass, Indiana CIOs are ready to buy (or buy more) Indiana technologies, but we need to do a better job as a community of promoting what's available and connect the decision makers.
Of course, we recognize that this isn't an original idea; I can remember at least two efforts to do something similar over the past 10 years. The difference now is that there is an actual demand for such a thing instead of previous attempts that were basically pushing buy local on CIOs when there really wasn't much demand.
I can't tell you all the details yet, but TechPoint is charging forward with this idea and hopefully very soon we will be able to announce plans for a comprehensive Buy Local Tech Directory that connects tech buyers with Indiana tech purveyors.
Please share your thoughts on this idea in the comments below. Is it an idea whose time has come? What are the features you would consider important for such a directory?