Tech has become democratized, according to Gartner, which predicts that by 2025, 55% of all successful emerging technology offerings will be delivered to “nontraditional” buyers outside of enterprise IT. This offers an opportunity for vendors to expand into new markets and forge new customer relationships, the research firm said.
This democratization empowers business workers to seek out, select, implement and custom-fit their own technology, offering them opportunities to enable a new set of citizen developers and business technologists, according to the newly-released Gartner report, Top Trends for Tech Providers for 2023. The report highlights this and other top trends that will impact tech providers through 2025.
Top trends impacting tech providers through 2025
These trends reflect three overarching themes: businesses increasing their reliance on technology, new opportunities emerging through technology and the impact of external macro forces.
“The march of digitalization continues even amidst disruption, and technology providers have a leading role to play,” said Rajesh Kandaswamy, distinguished vice president analyst at Gartner and Gartner Fellow. “In 2023, product leaders and technology executives must balance short-term planning with a long-term strategy to stay ahead of the immediate shocks to the economy and the underlying ‘permacrisis’ forces shaping business.”
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In addition to the democratization of technology, there are several other trends Gartner identified that will impact technology customers, buyers, products, ecosystems, business models and operating models worldwide for at least the next three years:
- Federated enterprise tech buying
- Product-led growth
- Co-innovation ecosystems
- Digital marketplaces
- Intelligent applications
- Metaverse technologies for enhancing customer experience
- Sustainable business
Federated enterprise tech buying
In a federated buying process, buying decisions are made by representatives across the business. Driven by the democratization of technology, federated enterprise technology buying is accelerating, with just 26% of technology buyers in a recent Gartner survey reporting that purchases are funded solely by IT.
While federated buying creates opportunities for product leaders, it also adds complexity by forcing changes to go-to-market models and requiring a greater focus on value scenarios and outcomes, said Emil Berthelsen, vice president analyst at Gartner.
Product-led growth enables users to experience value through free product offers or interactive or automated demonstrations. Then, users are either converted directly to paid accounts, or their advocacy and influence help to drive purchases. By 2025, 95% of software-as-a-service providers will employ a form of self-service PLG for new customer acquisition.
PLG is gaining momentum in business-to-business models after success in the business-to-consumer tech market, Kandaswamy said. The benefits are a reduced cost to acquire customers and shorter sales cycles.
The emerging co-innovation ecosystem approach enables the convergence of internal, external, collaborative and co-creative ideas to create new value. Because businesses are actively using technology to differentiate themselves, succeed and meet customer needs, they are increasingly co-innovating with tech providers.
Tech buyers are embracing digital marketplaces to easily find, procure, implement and integrate technology offerings. Nontech buyers are also increasingly looking to marketplaces to meet their requirements for composable and easily consumable technology products.
“Technology and service providers are increasing their investment in marketplace channels as they seek growth opportunities and competitive advantage,” Kandaswamy said. “A digital marketplace accelerates time to market, extends outreach to target segments, expands partner ecosystems and speeds up the sales cycle.”
Intelligent applications will create value and disrupt markets by learning, adapting and generating new ideas and outcomes. For example, generative artificial intelligence is an emerging technology quickly gaining traction for commercial use within intelligent applications. Generative AI can produce novel media content including text, image, video and audio as well as synthetic data and models of physical objects.
“Product leaders should expect generative AI features that empower workforces with augmented and creative capabilities to be a new competitive front in intelligent applications,” Kandaswamy said.
Metaverse technologies for enhancing customer experience
Metaverse technologies, such as virtual spaces and avatars, are rapidly gaining traction in marketing for creating unique experiences, impactful interactions and novel engagement. By 2027, over 40% of large organizations worldwide will be using a combination of Web3, spatial computing and digital twins in metaverse-based projects aimed at increasing revenue.
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“B2B marketers have an opportunity to apply metaverse technologies and the immersive experiences they provide to expand customer reach and engagement and improve CX,” said Kandaswamy. “Early adopters are using metaverse technologies to host events in virtual spaces, conduct internal and external sales meetings, showcase products, and more.”
Sustainable business is no longer a nice-to-have but a must have.
“In an increasingly technology-driven world, sustainable business is underpinned by sustainable technology,” Kandaswamy said.
A recent Gartner survey found that 42% of leaders are currently leveraging sustainability activities to drive innovation, differentiation and enterprise growth through sustainable products. The firm predicts that by 2025, tech providers that can quantify their offerings’ positive contribution to customers’ sustainability objectives will increase their win rate by 20%.
The globalization movement is now trending toward mercantilism, prompting global markets to become increasingly local and impacting global technology ecosystems.
Countries are implementing digital sovereignty regulations due to policy decisions, causing a divergence of technology stacks. Product leaders must now balance meeting specific country-level localization needs and product profitability in response to this trend.