Technology innovation and business disruption are changing the software market today. Cloud computing is blurring the line between applications and services, and smart solutions are combining hardware with software into new, purpose-engineered solutions. We are happy to announce that we have launched our Forrester Forrsights Software Survey, Q4 2010, to predict and quantify the future of the software market and help IT vendors to tap into the insights from approximately 2,500 IT decision-makers across North America and Western Europe.
The survey will provide insights on the strategic direction and spending plans of enterprises from very small businesses to global enterprises, segmented by industry and country. In comparison with last year’s survey, we significantly boosted the sample size this year for the energy (oil and gas, utilities, and mining) and healthcare industries; we’ll be able to provide an in-depth analysis for these industries along with retail, financial services, high tech, and other industries.
Key themes for this year’s software survey include the following topics:
Cloud computing. Besides a 360-degree overview on current and future adoption rates of software-as-a-service (SaaS) for different software applications, we are going much deeper this year and have asked IT decision-makers about their cloud strategy for application replacement as well as for different data and transaction types.
Integrated information technology. Purpose-engineered solutions combining hardware with software are promising higher performance and faster implementation times. But do IT users really buy into single-vendor strategies?
Is your fiscal year also your calendar year? If the answer is yes, then you have my sympathies. Your budget season has probably begun, negotiations will be tough, and the outcome is uncertain.
The background for 2011 negotiations will be the experience of 2010, a year in which marketing budgets rose cautiously at best, as I show in my latest research. This was despite the fact that marketers who responded to Forrester's February 2010 Global Marketing Leadership Online Survey were more than twice as likely to see signs of economic recovery in their industry as to not see them. B2B marketing leaders fared worse than their B2C counterparts:
The areas of marketing that fared the worst were those that were viewed as being expensive, and with low or uncertain ROI. For B2B, that meant sponsorships, trade shows, and traditional media. For B2C, it meant print advertising, agency fees, and direct mail. Conversely, all of the growth areas were related to digital media in one way or another.
So what does that mean for CMOs entering budget season? My advice would be to focus on measurable program elements that are designed around business objectives. That sounds obvious, but the surprising truth is that many of the CMOs whom we surveyed said they were shifting budget to areas they considered "strategic," which falls far short of this standard.