In launching a blog on sales and marketing for the tech industry, it seemed appropriate to start with observations based on our research and interactions that we have had with our clients. That was the easy part. The hard part was determining the most important trends to focus on … initially. (Can you see I’m giving myself, and you, the opportunity to add to the list?)
Everyone has a list, here is mine. While there are many tech trends, I think these trends deserve consideration from tech sales and marketing professionals.
Trend 1: It’s a services world (ITaaS). New delivery methods, engagement and financial models are becoming a requirement for enterprises of all sizes. This services trend is not just about infrastructure (hardware and software), but about on-premise or cloud-based managed services. Interestingly, this trend also highlights a "chicken and egg" dilemma. On one hand, shifting to ITaaS allows IT solution providers greater ability to address growth opportunities in SMB and emerging markets. On the other, growth in these markets is driving some technology providers to develop service-based (versus premise-based) offerings. Wherever you start, it leads you to the same conclusion: It's a services world.
Trend 2: Shift from products to solutions. B2B customers want help addressing their business needs and developing capabilities to serve their customers in a better way. They are less frequently interested in a product that provides one element of the answer, but more on a "converged solution" or an "integrated stack" that provides a complete answer to their needs.
Trend 3: The "consumerization" of IT. There is an increase in mobile devices and bring-your-own-device and greater demand for interoperability. This trend reflects the requirement of end users to be able to access corporate resources on their preferred device, and is intensifying the demand on IT organizations.
Trend 4: The (continuing) rise of Big Data. The quantity of data and the speed at which data is generated is increasing. As a result, this increases the need for data management and storage as well as tools to enable business intelligence, analytics and the distribution of insight.
Trend 5: Industry consolidation. While consolidation is not new, we are seeing more cross category consolidation and a wider variety of strategic alliances. In many cases, Trend 1 or 2, or both, drives these moves, but the implications on competition, and sales and marketing approaches, make it worth calling out separately.
This is not an exhaustive list, but represents the trends that I have observed and hear most frequently in discussions with tech-industry sales and marketing leaders. Through this series of posts, I will reflect on these trends and add to the list. What other trends do you think are significant?
More important, what do we, as sales and marketing professionals in tech, need to do differently? (As I think about it, "what to do" is really the hard part—getting started with the list was relatively easy.)