Buying decisions are harder than ever
The rapidity of changes in technology in the past few years have completely transformed the Information Technology buying process, making it longer, more complex and intensely more competitive. The digital economy’s transformative nature has been impacted widely by the aggressive growth of mobility, cloud and big data, all of which have been major drivers for change. The resulting change in consumption patterns has created an environment where enterprises are forced to strategize innovative methods of doing business in order to meet the rising expectations of their customers.
Enterprise IT wasn’t always viewed with so much criticality. Infact, at one time, it was considered no more than a back office support function. As long as it kept things going, it was considered good enough. However, it is imperative for businesses today that they look ahead, predict technology advances and plan accordingly. They must prioritize their focus on technology and be guided by tech-savvy employees, in order to stay competitive. IT pros are also now rightfully obsessed with data and are especially keen to use big data and predictive analytics to make data-driven business decisions, that are bound to have better overall business outcomes.
Because delivering extreme value is critical, IT spending is still strong.
CIOs, IT Directors, managers and developers have to make strategic and tactical technology decisions for their organizations every day. They want their decisions to add value to the business and enable them to win more customers and delight all stakeholders involved.
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But first, let’s have a look at what should comprise the foundation of better IT buying
Leveraging the transformative forces of technology that we discussed earlier, namely mobility, big data, and cloud demands scalable infrastructure. In order to survive competition, enterprises have to respond faster to the constantly evolving needs of the business. A scalable infrastructure facilitates growth, minimizes cost and improves agility. It allows you to harness the power of innovative technologies that in turn, enable you to strategize new ways of getting work done, without having to invest too much capital.
The value of cloud is critical to the conversation around scalable infrastructure. Cloud offers organizations agility, speed and flexibility like never before. The pay-as-you-go cost model delivers tremendous cost benefits, while also allowing the organization to scale up and down based on fluctuating market demands.
An Agile Workforce
When you think about startups, they are usually by default agile. However, as organizations grow, agility gets lost along the way. When you talk about going Agile and simplifying processes, communication becomes key. DevOps, a workflow and a set of practices, that has been developed and popularized by organizations at the forefront of radical innovation such as Facebook, Google and Amazon, is now making its way into enterprises in a big way.
DevOps has introduced several developments to IT, both technical and cultural, emphasizing communication and collaboration between software developers and IT professionals and enabling the automation of software delivery process and infrastructure changes. It offers velocity, consistency and the ability to scale and incorporate critical feedback. DevOps is especially critical to this discussion about better IT buying because it has given rise to infrastructures and applications that are incredibly fast and scalable.
When discussing DevOps, it becomes evident that collaboration is critical to scalability. What was once a purely IT oriented domain is now encroached by departments such as marketing (marketing automation) sales (CRM) and so on. Involving stakeholders and finding out exactly what they want is critical for decision making. Feedback from stakeholders offers an improved understanding of the right solution to buy. It is not always easy or even practical for your stakeholders to exactly define what it is they want. However, they do respond well to being given options and then providing feedback based on what features they feel the solution is missing. The agile project team is responsible for iterating their solution to meet the stakeholder needs as effectively as possible. In order for the IT solution to match the needs of the stakeholders, it is critical that there be a collaborative environment, where both parties get to interact closely.
Smart IT buying essentially boils down to the following essential considerations:
- Asking the right questions and performing your due diligence by investing sufficient time in research and investigation
- Ensuring that your business’ technology decisions benefit your business and customers alone, while mitigating risk as much as possible.
- Asking your IT supplier if they have previously worked with customers similar to your business, with a similar operating environment and the kind of results they have achieved.
Remember: The best buyers aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and really get into the buying process.
If you need further help in understanding whether you are making the right choices, you may choose to get in touch with one of our IT expert to guide you.