August 13, 2019 Andrew Warren-Payne
Today’s digital technology can do more than ever before so it’s not surprising that technology providers are adjusting the way they package their solutions. They are responding to tech buyers’ demands for more control, easier and faster access to cutting-edge technologies, more ways to mitigate risks associated with costly and lengthy implementations, and improved ability to scale capacity on demand. In essence, providers are responding to tech’s love for everything-as-a-service.
Adoption of the everything-as-a-service (XaaS) model for technology procurement and deployment has picked up speed in recent years as its benefits for tech buyers – increased flexibility, efficiency and agility – have become more apparent. Flexible consumption models, either subscription-based or pay-per-use, are a far cry from the traditional upfront purchasing or licensing models, giving tech buyers more control over what they consume and how much they pay for it.
The Rise of Tech’s Love for Everything-as-a-Service
The rate of adoption is on the rise: among US companies that consume at least 15% of their enterprise IT on a XaaS basis, 71% report that XaaS accounts for more than half of their technology. Additionally, 24% currently consume over three-quarters of their enterprise IT as a service or are planning to reach that level within the next two years.
While the tech buyers’ original motivation for everything-as-a-service adoption was to cut costs, there’s increasing evidence that XaaS models are used to power digital transformation efforts and help them stay on the leading edge of technology by democratizing innovation. Seven in ten companies claim that XaaS is ‘very’ or ‘critically’ important to their business success, while 61% say they’re mostly or fully achieving accelerated innovation with these flexible models. Companies are 2.6 times more likely to prefer accessing innovation capabilities, such as artificial intelligence and advanced analytics, as a service.
Three ON24 Tips for Marketing to Tech
Use flexible consumption models to become more nimble
Tech buyers want vendors to innovate and enhance their offering better and faster, which means you need to adopt a more flexible and agile development and delivery approach. Make the most of the XaaS economy by tapping into the wealth of engagement data generated throughout the customer lifecycle, using it to optimize your customers’ experience and uncover additional revenue opportunities.
Cut above the noise with industry-specific case studies and robust insights
Tech buyers have a growing appetite for genuine insights and external endorsements, and are more interested in finding out how you can help solve their unique business challenges rather than going through a long list of tech specs. Think in terms of outcomes, communicate succinctly and use success stories to demonstrate your technology’s potential.
Develop collaborative outcome-based solutions
As the complexity of tech stacks increases and customers demand tailored solutions that help address their unique business challenges, out-of-the-box solutions are no longer viable. Innovation is fostered through collaboration, so work with partners who have the right skills and competencies to pursue a diverse range of market opportunities.
How Tech can make Everything-as-a-service a Differentiator
Tech vendors also need to be clear how they position themselves in a crowded market. In the marketing space alone, over 7,000 individual solutions exist. As such, vendors need to create clarity and understand how they position themselves relative to the approach taken by their buyers – whether they are using an integrated stack based on a single cloud provider, a ‘best of breed’ approach that assembles many different solutions from different providers together, or a mixed approach that might be based on one core platform, such as a CRM, ERP or other widely-used databases.
In terms of benefits for vendors, XaaS enables recurring, steadier revenue streams, healthier margins and a renewed focus on building long-term relationships with customers. Flexible consumption models generate a treasure trove of data pertaining to engagement and usage throughout the customer lifecycle, which can feedback into interaction optimization efforts.
However, making use of data appears to be an area that technology marketers need to improve on. Three in five technology CMOs struggle to extract insight from data (61%) and believe that data protection legislation will make it harder to build direct relationships with customers (59%) Only a quarter of tech CEOs agree that their organizations are exceeding their customers’ expectations for personalized experiences.
Tapping into all available data to better connect with target audiences, personalize interactions at any point in the buying cycle and understand which products or features resonate more with customers is crucial for success in the XaaS economy. Embedding data into everything technology vendors do, and democratizing it so it can be used throughout the organization, is what sets leaders apart from the pack.
Want to learn what a technology professional can do to improve customer experience now? Check out the ON24 Webinar Benchmarks Report for Technology for tech-specific insights.