Reading The Market: What's On Buyers' Minds?

Where do your customers and potential customers need help? What are the drivers behind IT spending by business? Here are four insights that could give your sales and marketing teams a leg up.


Are you maintaining lines of communication with both IT and non-IT business units? Non-IT groups will shell out about 6 percent more on technology spending this year over 2016, according to IDC. The Framingham, Mass.-based research firm forecasts worldwide corporate IT spending funded by non-IT groups to reach $609 billion this year, and will maintain a 5.9-percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2015 to 2020. Spending by IT organizations will also increase over that span, IDC said, but at only a 2.3 percent CAGR. That will enable line-of-business technology spending to be nearly equal to that of IT-driven spending by 2020, IDC predicts. The drivers beyond mobile, analytics, cloud and social media? "Innovation accelerators" such as the Internet of Things, 3D printing and cognitive/artificial intelligence systems, says IDC analyst Naoko Iwamoto.


Looking to sell more collaboration solutions? Welcome to the era of workplace flexibility! With many businesses allowing employees to work from anywhere, productivity and teamwork soar, according to collaboration tools vendor Polycom. Based on a recent global study it conducted with Morar Consulting, Polycom found that 62 percent of workers take advantage of flexible work practices, while an overwhelming 98 percent say that working anywhere has a positive impact on productivity. Here's where the technology tools come in: 62 percent of the survey base want access to collaboration technology, while 92 percent believe video collaboration tools help improve relationships and enable better teamwork.


It will probably surprise few that security is the top problem that can keep CIOs and IT professionals up at night. A survey by Sungard Availability Services revealed that 56 percent of those surveyed cited security as the number one thing preventing them from a full night's sleep. But right behind that – at 52 percent – is system downtime. After that? Talent acquisition, cited by 38 percent. Drilling further, 50 percent say talent acquisition is overlooked more than any other issue in the Sungard survey.


Do you have healthcare providers among your customers? Despite the uncertainty about the industry under a new presidential administration and a Republican Congress in Washington, leaders of U.S healthcare systems are not holding back in preparing for the changes that lie ahead, according to Premier Inc., which seeks to improve healthcare in the U.S. For instance, half of the executives it surveyed online in January and February said they will increase or "increase substantially" their efforts to improve interoperability of existing health technology, while no one indicated they would spend less. Meanwhile, 47 percent said they will increase or increase substantially the utilization of technology to support risk-based contracts, and no one said they planned to reduce investments.