In sentiment, Forrester indicates that formal IT budgets do not point the way to the upward revision in growth estimates. The spending should come instead as organizations realize they need to invest quicker than planned to meet underestimated growth demands and to drive technology enabled business processes improvements or products. And as well, underspending on infrastructure over the past 2 years means that any incremental business investments will likely drive some bolstering of the IT foundation. For example, an acceleration of datacenter and PC virtualization to meet growing application computing and management maturity demands.
Of great importance to IT solution providers, because formal budgets will not contain the growth, if solution providers want their fair share of the growth, they need to be sure that they are helping customers allocate and drive discretionary spending. This means proactively:
- engaging customers on strategic planning - assessing the environment to determine needs, because most customers need help determining what issues they have and what options are available - strategy vs. product focus
- helping customers generate ROI business cases to make sure that proposed incremental projects are prioritized above other options as competition for these discretionary spending will be fierce - business value vs. feature/function/price
- helping customers quantify how proposed solutions are less expensive than competitive alternatives, because when all is said and done with potential budget increases, Frugalnomics reigns - TCO advantages vs. shootout / discounting
- Demand-Gen Tools: Marketing needs to be able to deliver tools to to help prospects /customers assess opportunities and quantify the value of proposed solutions. In these frugal times, such value-based interactive demand-gen tools we have developed for our IT solution provider clients have been proven to entice 50% more leads compared to other initiatives, achieve 240% superior conversion rates, and increase on-line loyalty with 44% increases in repeat visitors and 65% increases in time per visit.
- Sales Tools: Used to evolve direct and channel sales professionals from antiquated features/function/price selling to modern selling with ROI and business value, sales enablement teams using interactive value-based sales tools have been proven to reduce the time it takes to develop credible assessments and business cases from days to an hour or less, reduce discounting and increase deal size by 20%, reduce sales cycles by 30-40%, drive channel partner loyalty, and increase the competitive success rate of proposals by over 60%.
More information on the predictions can be found at: