IT vendors should target large enterprises like they do for SMBs
In the face of a world economy facing challenges, the large enterprise market is still showing signs of resilience in ICT spend in India and other emerging markets in the Asia/Pacific region. As per Techaisle market forecast and spend, large businesses are expected to spend US$10 billion on IT in India in 2011. India, in fact represents one-sixth of the Asia/Pacific enterprise IT spend.
When ICT vendors target enterprises they tend to use specific technology and its advantages as the argument for IT purchases. On the flip side when the same ICT vendors target SMBs they tend to identify target segments based on their IT sophistication or employee size.
Techaisle has conducted extensive primary research and studied the enterprise market in great depth over the last three years across numerous countries. A key finding that comes across clearly is that ICT vendors should create target markets based on business issues and not IT priorities alone.
There are four bottom-line issues that enterprises are focused on. These are also known as Enterprise persona:
Having a deep understanding of the underlying motivations behind the above issues will help ICT vendors to appropriately create marketing messages. Today’s CIO is busier than ever with numerous technologies coming to him at once. And the problem gets exacerbated when today’s employees become more adept at using technology than the CIO can offer in a work place. CIO has a single minded focus of creating value in the organization through the use of technology. And if the sales-force of large MNCs approach these CIOs with solutions on virtualization, cloud, disaster recovery, business intelligence and others the sales cycle necessarily gets prolonged with sometimes disheartening results.
Let us all have a top-down approach. We now know the top four enterprise persona as shown above. The underlying business issues that give rise to the top persona could be a combination of the following:
• Improving workforce productivity through better collaboration
• Improving workforce productivity through better mobile solutions
• Improving effectiveness of sales, marketing and business decision making through data mining and business intelligence
• Creating and managing a flexible IT environment to better respond to market changes
• Improving quality of products and processes to improve time to market
• Reduce operational costs & improve return on IT investment
Each of the above can be retrofitted with technology solutions – whether it’s a VMWare solution, an IBM smarter planet offering or Cisco borderless products, etc.
Understanding the Technological attitude of the key IT Decision maker and influencer also becomes important. Techaisle surveys have shown that these attitudes towards technology take some very simple forms:
• For some technology is a strategic advantage for sustaining growth
• For some technology is to be used for business transformation
• Some use technology to on business initiatives
• Rest use technology to maintain business
It is best that ICT vendors do their homework before targeting enterprises with marketing material, events, briefings and off-sites.
Anurag Agrawal is the CEO of Techaisle, a global market research and consulting company focused on SMBs and Channels. Prior to Techaisle, Anurag headed Gartner’s Worldwide Research Operations and before that was with IDC.
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