Pipeline 2021: The new face of the IT buyer

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Pipeline 2021: The new face of the IT buyer

The way we use and look at technology has changed rapidly in recent years and consumers as a whole become increasingly tech savvy. But how has this affected approaches to buying technology for their organisation?

To see all the great content from this year's CRN Pipeline click here.

According to a recent report from Gartner, 80 percent of technology procurement within the average organisation comes from outside the IT department. The report’s co-author Derry Finkeldey says this means IT providers need to change the way they look at technology purchases and those who authorise them.

“Over 41 percent of employees the enterprise, are actually what we would call business technologists. And they are employees who don't report to IT, but create technology or analytics capabilities as part of their core job.

“So you've got 49 percent of organisations, who are technology end users. 41 percent are these roles that we call business technologists, and then you've got 4 percent of corporate IT staff who report into that.

This means that technology has become crucial to roles for half of all staff in the average organisation and that 94 percent of those are now influencing the tech purchases for their company, greatly expanding the number of voices in the conversation.

Geoff Augutis from Queensland Computers is seeing two trends in customer behaviour, increasing scrutiny of their partners and a greater understanding of the technology which they are buying.

“For brands like Apple, for example, the product is the product and the partner doesn't have a lot of value,” he says.

“But for things like cloud services or Office 365, that sort of environment, we definitely see the partners value showcased. So, people are very much looking for a capable partner where, in the past, they might just be looking for the product.

“The complicated technology is getting more complicated. The back-end systems, the cloud systems, if you're a large enterprise, the stands the sand storage arrays, the terms that we throw around like hyper converged solutions for server infrastructure.

“And I think the it's reached a point where unless people work in that field, they don't want to know the ins and outs of it.”

For cloud specialist TechConnect and its head of sales Warren Venter, the customer experience really depends on the industry in which they operate and he called out Healthcare as one industry which generally lags behind in technology adoption.

“But if you look at the more traditional businesses, whether it's retail, gaming, even mining, it's about IT historically, because they're more mature businesses have this monolith culture. So, everything's big and bulky and requires a lot of money and attention to actually keep going.”

In terms of an industry focus, Venter called out retail as one which will be innovating faster than others.

“COVID has just come run up at them. And they they're still trying to get organized after the floodgates opened, the bricks and mortar business stopped or slowed down rapidly,” he explains.

He says that now many are experiencing service interruptions, because their infrastructure cannot deal with the influx of demand.

As businesses and consumers continue to create data at an exponential rate, customers are looking for new ways to use technology to deliver a business advantage as Carrington Associates founder Sachin Khisti explains.

“Things have completely changed,” he says. “Your business requirements have changed. It's not only what the industry is that you are in looking for. But it's more than that as well even if you come from the same industry, every company, every organisation has very different needs. And their business model is also different.”

“The developers or the users are going to use the software. So let's take everyone in the party to make a decision on providing the software. So that's how customers now go about getting feedback from the market.”


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