There was a time when CIOs could roll out a 5 year road-map with minimal disruption or deviation. But in 2016, we're seeing high-profile CTOs like the Home Office's Sarah Wilkinson discussing the increased need for a highly flexible IT strategy - sticking to a rigid agenda is no longer practical for achieving success.
For IT resellers, this change presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Existing clients can't be taken for granted - they will need reassurance that you are best placed to help them react to rapid change and introduce new technologies where appropriate. But this is also a promising time to be targeting new clients; building a case that you are the best possible partner to deliver solutions that create a fluid and scalable infrastructure.
Based on our daily interviews with senior IT budget-holders, we're seeing a real shift in both strategy and timescales - presenting a wealth of opportunities for sales teams looking to win work:-
There's been a 4% increase in the number of IT decision-makers making changes to networks and infrastructure in 2016.
Nearly twice as many budget-holders were reviewing managed services last year, with a similar number already planning reviews for 2016.
In 2016, 5.1% more companies are increasing budgets for data storage.
There was a 60% increase in the number of companies reviewing cloud contracts last year - a trend we fully expect to continue this year.
In the past month alone, we've discussed forthcoming reviews with senior IT budget-holders at companies including Stobart Group, Morrisons, RSA, Wood Group, Fuller's, Npower, Thorntons, United Utilities and Toyota.
"What is a priority today may not be in three or six months”
As CIOs ditch their 3-5 year strategies in favour of those that are more reactive to change, the frequency with which they invest in IT is increasing. Recently, the Technical Architect at a FTSE 250 Industrial Services Giant told us the company's priorities are now reviewed at the beginning of each quarter, saying "what is a priority today may not be in three or six months”.
Plans can even change mid-project. The enterprise architect at a nationwide retailer told us he "regularly reviews strategy during major business transformation projects, to keep things current in a particularly competitive market". In the rapidly growing energy and support services sector, one infrastructure manager told us that there's very little he isn't reviewing regularly - stating "you name the technology, we're looking at it".
As reviews become more frequent and CIOs less inclined to maintain a monogamous supplier relationship, it's essential that you keep on top of the buying intentions and shifting attitudes of your clients and prospects.
To find out how Pearlfinders' first-hand interviews with senior IT decision-makers can help you with this, just drop me a line at:- firstname.lastname@example.org