Noreen Nagji co-wrote this blog post with John DeSarbo.
This post is the first in a seven-part series examining top trends that are reshaping the high-tech industry.
Over the past two decades, technological innovations have forever changed how we create, share and consume information. We’ve transitioned from listening to cassettes and vinyl records at home to streaming music online everywhere. Gone are the days when students flipped through encyclopedias while writing research reports. Instead, kids today start every school project by first Googling their topics and reading Wikipedia. Parents no longer carefully pick and choose when to photograph family gatherings with analog film cameras. Preserving memories is as easy as pointing our smartphones and recording high-resolution videos that are instantly shared on social media. All of this has happened in a remarkably short period of time.
Technological innovation has not just transformed our experiences as consumers and enabled dramatic societal change, but also created unprecedented growth opportunities across all industries. Industry leaders are capitalizing on the opportunity by embracing new business models and redefining their value propositions to their customers. Perhaps nowhere has the rate of change been greater in recent years than in the technology industry, where hardware, software and IT service providers are investing to enable the innovations that have had such a profound impact on our lives.
We’ve identified five fundamental trends that are driving transformational change in the technology industry.
- Technological innovation: New products and services are emerging at an accelerated pace as entrepreneurial innovators capitalize on advancements in cloud computing, mobile technologies and big data analytics.
- Industry restructuring: New competitors and growth opportunities associated with the emergence of new technologies are driving mergers, acquisitions, divestitures and new alliances.
- Shift in decision making: Cloud technology and pricing are enabling line of business/business unit buyers to procure B-to-B solutions with minimal or no input from the CIO or CTO.
- Changes in buying behavior: Customer buying behavior is continuing to shift from traditional channels to digital channels, with customers increasingly making B-to-B purchasing decisions before initial contact with a sales rep.
- Moving beyond products and services: The shift in IT decision making is driving vendors to increasingly define their value propositions based on customer outcomes rather than product features or simple bundled offerings.
Although all five of these trends may not apply to every company in the technology industry, these changes, both individually and collectively, have dramatic implications for technology providers’ go-to-market strategies. Technology industry leaders are rethinking what they sell, who they sell to, and how they reach and serve target buyers and influencers. The players who are able to capitalize on the trends that are reshaping the industry stand to reap the benefits of stronger customer relationships, increased market share and higher margins. The laggards who are unable to keep pace with the changes will be outpaced by more innovative and nimble competitors. Only time will tell which companies will benefit from the opportunities that arise in times of dramatic change, and which companies will fail to meet rising customer and channel partner expectations, ultimately falling to the back of the pack.
BLOG POST: Busting Three Myths About Big Data
Over the next few weeks, we’ll explore each of the five trends reshaping our industry and share our point of view on the implications for technology sales and marketing leaders.
And the next time that you're jamming out to Spotify or reminiscing about the Dewey Decimal System, take a minute to reflect on the remarkable changes that we’ve been privileged to experience in recent years. No doubt, more exciting changes lie ahead that will drive transformational change across all industries—technology, in particular.
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