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AI, automation, private networks top UK enterprise tech agenda | Computer Weekly

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A study from CCGroup has revealed the clear shifts in enterprise technology buying behaviours, showing the need to increase revenues, keep up with technology advances and increase efficiencies are all driving the necessity to purchase new technology, in particular artificial intelligence (AI), automation and private networks.

Moreover, the Understanding enterprise technology buying: Lessons for vendor marketing report, based on a survey of 200 technology decision-makers from UK enterprises, showed that despite market conditions, enterprises are investing in new technologies – with healthy budgets to do so – and there has been a “dramatic” proliferation in the marketing channels and content formats that enterprises refer to when making technology purchasing decisions.

Investigating contemporary enterprise purchasing behaviours, the report revealed that enterprises’ fundamental priorities over the next 12 months are increasing sales (33%), reducing operating costs (32%) and growth via new business areas or geographies (30%). On average, enterprises have made five technology purchases over the past 12 months.

The need to increase revenues was seen as a top deciding factor for purchasing new technology (47%), followed by the need to keep up with new technology advances (42%) and the need to increase efficiencies (42%). The technologies being frequently discussed in enterprises are AI (73%), automation (69%) and private networks (69%).

The study also identified a number of additional factors that enterprises take into account as part of the technology buying process. Among these, two-thirds (68%) of organisations request a supplier’s sustainability policy as part of the request for proposal (RFP) process, while more than half (60%) request a supplier’s diversity and inclusion policy.

In addition, 56% of technology purchases involve a channel partner in some capacity – whether technology has been purchased via a partner, or through a combination of direct sales and via a channel partner.

When making technology purchasing decisions, enterprises were found to be using a wide range of marketing channels and consulting more content formats. The three most influential channels in terms of building buyer awareness of technology suppliers are industry analysts (72%), business technology media (67%) and management consultants (67%).

When it comes to selecting suppliers, live events, trade media and peers are all ranked equally important (67%), highlighting, said CCGroup, the importance of suppliers’ presence and voice in the industry.

However, across the board, almost all marketing channels and content formats enterprises refer to when identifying and selecting supplier partners are ranked similarly important. This ranged from industry analysts through to trade media, direct marketing, webinars, case studies and press releases.

“Against a challenging macroeconomic environment, enterprise buyers are being much more considered when making technology purchasing decisions,” said Chloe Pope, head of next-gen connectivity at CCGroup.

“It’s essential for technology vendors to have fully integrated marketing programmes in place to ensure they aren’t missing out on RFP opportunities. Reputation, sustainability efforts, and diversity, equity and inclusion policies are major factors that contribute to selecting vendor partners. Successful vendors not only need to showcase their market leadership and technology innovation, they need to clearly outline their business goals and workplace cultures, too.”

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