To switch or to stay — that is the question. At the start of 2023 and with a recession looming, businesses are taking a hard look at their financials. What can we cut? What can we streamline?
GoTo surveyed 1,000 IT decision makers on their key decision drivers and plans, in partnership with research firm, Frost & Sullivan. In the results, we saw two key themes in bold: consolidation and cost-reduction. But what does that mean to small and midsize businesses? This blog will give you the inside scoop on where to focus your efforts.
Main business objectives in 2023
When surveyed, decision makers had 4 top business objectives this year:
- Growing revenue
- Improving operational efficiencies
- Reducing costs
- Increasing customer satisfaction
Beyond the top 4, business leaders are enhancing sales and marketing effectiveness, increasing employee satisfaction, and maintaining current position in the market.
So what’s next? How are your peers planning to grow revenue in their business? Our survey found 83% intend to achieve revenue growth by acquiring more customers.
In the list above, we don’t see the word consolidation. But if you’re choosing to consolidate, you’re in good company. Focusing on your vendors gives you control. And it can help with your top 4 objectives. Do you have the right customer engagement tool? Does it integrate with your internal communications? Are your sales teams equipped with the right software? Answering these questions is just the start.
46% of SMBs are in the process of consolidating their unified communications and IT management tools. 23% have completed this consolidation already and 24% have it planned for 2023 (the rest are unsure).
Read on to see why business leaders and IT professionals are consolidating or switching vendors.
3 reasons to switch vendors
85% of SMBs have switching vendors as a high priority for 2023. And switching vendors often leads to consolidating vendors. One vendor that can do it all. The top 3 reasons for consolidating were increased employee productivity, easier to manage for IT teams, and cost savings. Other factors included easier-to-scale, user preference, and streamlining customer support with one vendor.
- Employee productivity: 50% of respondents shared that the reason for consolidation was tied to an increase in employee productivity. Perhaps you’ve seen a complicated tech stack first-hand. One tool for calls, another tool for internal meetings, and a third to engage with customers. Employees may have adopted a variety of tools to get work done in a hybrid or remote environment. But siloed technology wastes time — whether that’s switching between tools, or onboarding and learning how they work. Integrated technology with a consolidated vendor boosts productivity.
- Easier to manage for IT: 49% of respondents said that it would be easier for IT teams to manage a consolidated tech stack. Overall, IT workload is up. 3 in 5 organizations experienced an increase in IT workload in 2022. IT teams — or anyone taking on an IT function — lose time deploying new tools, assigning licenses, onboarding, porting data, and securing their workforce. With one unified admin experience, IT teams can take care of it all in one place. It also reduces the risk of shadow IT. If employees try to fill gaps with their own software choices, they rack up unnecessary costs and security risks. With consolidation, IT teams have better oversight.
- Cost savings: 41% of respondents cite cost savings as their reason for consolidation. It can be as simple as fewer vendors equal fewer bills. You get more bang for your buck if your vendor can handle your unified communications suite and IT management and support tools. As your business scales, add-ons will cost less in the long run instead of contracting with a bunch of different vendors. Startup and hidden support fees can add up. Instead, you need one vendor you can trust to handle it all.
Selection criteria for new software
At GoTo, we pride ourselves in knowing our customers. And we have research to back it up. Reliability and trust are the top two drivers for an organization’s loyalty to a technology vendor. So what triggers the need to switch? Beyond vendor trust, the following selection criteria are top of mind for buyers:
- Value for money (29%)
- Improves IT administration (27%)
- Ensures performance and reliability (23%)
- Improves employee productivity (23%)
- Makes IT teams jobs easier to fulfil (21%)
Value for money ranks first, especially within small businesses with 50 or fewer employees. With consolidation and cost-cutting top of mind this year, any software change has to fit financial guardrails.
How companies are switching
Switching and consolidating software vendors can be daunting. And SMBs can’t afford to make the wrong choice. The market is packed with options and as listed above, a lot of criteria to consider. When asked about purchasing partners, 44% of respondents use an IT Managed Service Provider, Third Party IT consultant, or Telecom Services Partner to find, select, implement, and maintain their technology solutions (27% go to the vendor directly, and 27% use either). This usage of third party partners is up 55% in 2022.
The benefits are clear. Buyers are looking for trusted advice on the right technology. Partners also help deploy and maintain the software.
Overall, the research shows that consolidation is top of mind for IT decision-makers. And GoTo is here to help. We want you to have confidence that you can meet your business objectives this year.
GoTo, the only all-in-one solution for business communications and IT support, makes IT easy and affordable.