Sales & Marketing

Gartner CIO Study Highlights Need for Outcome-Based IT Marketing

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Gartner’s latest CIO study, “Reimagining IT: The 2011 CIO Agenda,” highlights several important trends that will have significant impact on technology marketing and sales enablement into 2011 and beyond.

The results are based on survey responses from 2,014 CIOs worldwide, supported by interviews by Gartner analysts with leading CIOs, highlighting the following important trends:

Busted budgets – IT budgets are expected to increase by just 1% in 2011 over 2010 spending levels, with IT budgets not achieve their 2008 highs for 3 years, until 2014.

Growth gains priority – the business strategy for CIOs is migrating from streamlining business processes and reducing enterprise costs to increasing enterprise growth and retaining new customers.

Value focused – As CIOs seek to meet business goals, one of two issues standing in their way is benefits realization, the ability to achieve planned business benefits from each IT project, and the ability to measure and prove this achievement.

Business results key source of success – CIOs indicate overwhelming that the ability to deliver and prove business results is their primary source of success / success measure.

Cloudy forecast – Companies are looking to the cloud to help them improve IT efficiency and effectiveness, in particular overcoming the heavy operational commitments of legacy architectures / services. Today only three percent of organizations have the majority of their IT in the cloud / SaaS, but in as little as four years, Gartner expects 43 percent of organizations to have their IT in the cloud. According to Gartner, this requires CIOs re-imagine IT and lead it through a process of “creative destruction.

Today’s buyers are clearly focused on outcomes, and the more outcome-based the marketing campaigns, content, sales presentations and proposals, the better. Technology marketing and sales enablement can help:

Align with goals: Deliver proof that solutions can help budget constrained IT executives “do more with less”, especially how the solutions can help drive business growth, help customer retention, or reduce business operation costs

Diagnose issues: Proactively help drive transformative strategies by diagnosing current issues, benchmarking performance and building roadmaps for change, especially for cloud strategies and solutions,

Prove ROI: Quantify the realized benefits and value from investments. In IDC studies, 65 percent of IT managers don’t have the time, metrics, tools to quantify the value, and as a result, 81 percent turn to vendors for help in proving the value / ROI – a key success factor to gain the sale and build a relationship,

Validate best value: Prove that the proposed solutions represent the best value / lowest cost of ownership (TCO) versus competitive options

A summary of the Gartner study can be found here.

Tom Pisello is chairman and founder of Alinean.

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