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These are the top trends impacting tech providers in 2024

960 640 Stuart O'Brien
Generative AI (GenAI) is dominating the technical and product agenda of nearly every tech provider, but ESG and buyer pessimism are also high on the agenda.

Eric Hunter, Managing Vice President at Gartner, said: “[GenAI] technology reshapes a tech provider from its growth and product strategy down to the everyday tools used by its associates. Despite the potential for GenAI to reshape providers, it is not the only influence facing technology leaders. There are new points of friction in growth plans, new points of fusion in marketing and sales, and new relationships opening up to technology and service providers (TSPs).”

The immediate and long-term implications of these issues require product leaders to balance between short-term opportunity and long-term advantage and strategies based on economic recovery or recession. Gartner’s top trends for 2024 reflect these dualities (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: 2024 Gartner Tech Provider Top Trends

Note: The bubble size for each trend conveys the relative magnitude of disruption for a given trend, relative to the other top trends. Source: Gartner (February 2024)

Efficient Growth for High Tech

Significant growth in IT spending over the last decade benefited high-tech companies. Capturing that growth led high-tech firms to pursue growth without a full measure of the costs. This is a “growth at all costs” strategy. High-tech firms anchored their product, organization and employment plans on a hypothesis of continued strong growth.

As macroeconomic conditions create uncertainty among buyers and increasing costs of capital shift investor focus to margin growth, Gartner analysts see a trend toward tech providers focusing on efficient growth. Efficient growth strategies recognize the value in growing in ways that strengthen current margins and future revenue opportunities.

New Enterprise IT-Provider Relationships

Increased business and technical demands require enterprise IT to cover more ground at a deeper level and a faster pace, eroding enterprise IT’s capacity and capabilities. This creates a trend for product leaders at tech providers to create new relationships and revenue opportunities across the enterprise, including expanded provider roles within enterprise IT and the business, outcome-centric provider-enterprise relationships and enterprise-wide tier-1 relationships.

Sustainable Business Grows Up

Sustainability efforts and managing the ESG impact have been unilaterally focused on mitigating internal risk and ensuring compliance. Product leaders must evolve by embracing double materiality and holistic leverage of emerging technologies to meet sustainability objectives.

AI Safety 

Responsible AI and AI safety are not new concepts, but the unprecedented rapid development of GenAI technologies has fueled the discussion around risk management and how to address growing issues such as content provenance and hallucination. Product leaders must build solutions that incorporate safety principles with a focus on model transparency, traceability, interpretability and explainability aspects. Preempting regulatory and compliance issues will be critical to staying competitive in this vibrant GenAI market by creating trust.

Rising Buyer Pessimism 

Over the past three years, tech providers have increasingly observed negative sales pipeline effects due to new buyer behaviors that are colliding with outdated go-to-market (GTM) models. Without adapting sales and marketing approaches to detect and respond to buyer pessimism, technology providers will see their own GTM operations decline in both internal and external perspectives.

Vertical Generative AI Models

While general-purpose models perform well across a broad set of GenAI applications, they can be impractical for many enterprise use cases that require domain-specific data. Tech providers must explore industry-focused models that can be adapted to specific user requirements using available resources more efficiently. Those failing to do so will face increased costs and complexity in the creation and leverage of models.

Personalized Marketplace Experiences  

Specialized, niche, digital marketplaces are emerging to help buyers navigate the complexity of procuring, implementing and integrating solutions. Product leaders who do not offer their services through personalized digital marketplaces limit their findability for their target customers. Gartner predicts that

80% of sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels by 2025.

Industry Cloud Delivers Growth

Service providers, hyperscalers, ISVs and SaaS providers are turning to vertical solutions to deliver the customer outcomes that will drive provider growth. By 2027, Gartner predicts that more than 50% of tech providers will use industry cloud platforms to deliver business outcomes, up from less than 5% in 2023.

PLG and Value Converge for Hybrid GTM

Product-led-growth (PLG) focuses on showing value to product users, creating intent signals that go-to-market (GTM) teams can use with prospective buyers. But most companies using a PLG GTM have begun to realize that, in most cases, a 100% self-serve GTM motion isn’t tenable. At some point, sellers must be involved to convert deals. Buyer needs for business value and outcome justification — for new or expansion business — will meld PLG tactics with value management and realization initiatives in hybrid GTM strategies.

Precision Marketing and Sales

Rapidly evolving technology advances, such as GenAI, digital buying and the metaverse, are changing how tech providers market and sell technology. Tech providers failing to adopt new approaches will see the erosion of overall deal quality combined with the loss of relevance and limited growth within established accounts.

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash

Top 5 business telecoms trends for 2020

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By Laura Health, Head of Product Development at TSG

As with several business technologies, the 2010s saw huge advancements in telecommunications. Whilst VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephony had been around long before this decade, this is when it really took off as a viable, modern and futureproof solution for businesses around the world.

A lot of businesses saw it as an opportunity to realise savings from new internet connections or to move their voice services to new providers; but many didn’t really look at the benefits beyond that. 

High-quality internet became far more accessible in the 2010s; leased line internet services became more affordable, with many being able to benefit from 100Mbps and upwards connections; all for the same price of previous 10Mbps services. The internet evolved into an essential tool for any business with the shift towards cloud-based services.

As the decade progressed and many organisations got to grips with flexible working (an option afforded to us by this move to cloud services), consumers benefitted from better internet services. The fibre broadband rollout gained pace, and now an estimated 96% of the UK can access internet speeds in excess of 24Mbps download. It’s an added bonus for avid streamers, from Netflix binges to the festive football fixtures available on Amazon Prime.

What will telephony and telecommunications look like in the 2020s?

Now that we’ve taken a quick whistle-stop tour of the advancements in telephony in the 2010s, let’s look ahead. With the changing way we’re using the internet to consume more services, both personally and professionally, this decade is really exciting.

Hosted telephony is becoming the norm

In a business context, the shift to the cloud continues at an incredible pace. Many businesses, having completed their migration, are now adopting a cloud-first approach, utilising services like Office 365, Dynamics 365 and hosted voice services – all of which need great telecommunications infrastructure.

This is particularly important as businesses are changing how they want to consume their voice services. Typically, organisations are looking to remove the need for physical equipment (in the form of a PBX system – the key aim is to move to a softphone-only environment) and benefit from the advantages a hosted voice platform provides, namely:

  • Disaster recovery capabilities – traditionally, this was only afforded to organisations with a lot of money to spend
  • Flexibility – giving staff the ability to work from any location whilst still being part of the corporate system
  • Preparing for the ISDN switch-off – read more about this further down
  • Cost-savings – these can easily be achieved through consolidation; reduced call spend and typically a low capital expenditure when implementing a new system

Kick-started by the ISDN switch-off, thousands of UK businesses are replacing legacy phone systems – some of which are older than this millennium! Additionally, the rate of change in the hosted voice market continued to increase last year with the announcement from Microsoft about full voice services coming to its Teams platform, provided to organisations via Office 365.

Microsoft shakes up the hosted voice market with Microsoft 365 Business Voice

Microsoft 365 Business Voice could revolutionise how we approach voice services here in the UK. If you add to this the perfect storm of the death of ISDN in 2025 and many users already utilising Office 365, the next decade could see Teams providing an entry to hosted voice services to the many at just a small additional cost on top of their existing O365 subscriptions. 

One exciting innovation is the exploration of integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into voice services, particularly in the call centre space. This is likely to play a huge part during the next decade, providing efficiencies to call flow and improving customer service. Imagine being presented with all the information required by your device without having to type?

The ISDN switch-off – act now before it’s too late

ISDN voice services will be coming to their inevitable end in 2025, with Openreach making the announcement a few years ago. This will see the way in which we all consume our voice services change. It also means those business clinging on to the ageing traditional systems because “they don’t cost anything to run” will find that they need to upgrade or risk losing their voice services entirely.

Consumers will also be boosted again in the coming decade. Many will still require the copper cable, but this will be more for the provision of the broadband, not voice services. As networks are upgraded, Openreach has now adopted a fibre-first approach. In short, any new buildings or upgrades that it carries out will see superfast fibre FTTP (fibre to the premise) deployed instead of the FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) technology of the last decade. This will provide speeds of up to 1Gbps. Just imagine the streaming on that… 8K anyone?

Providers are upping their game

The introduction of Microsoft 365 Business Voice means providers need to adapt in order to keep up with the times and offer robust services. We’re already seeing this with Gamma’s introduction of its mobile convergence offering (Gamma Connect), giving you phone system functionality on your mobile phone without the need for a softphone. This technology is great for any business who has a very mobile workforce.

5G will give us endless mobile possibilities

The last area to touch on is the introduction of 5G. This is great news not only for consumers, but for businesses invested in mobile voice services. When on the go and not hooked up to WiFi, this means your mobile workforce will still be available and able to use voice services. There are also interesting implications for the IoT (Internet of Things) and AI. 

A final word

So, over the next decade we can expect businesses to move to IP telephony in their droves as they jump ship from ISDN before the costs become unmanageable and, in turn, reap a host of additional benefits. The Microsoft Teams telephony solution will give the market a much-needed shake-up and provides an entry-point into hosted voice for small to medium businesses.

TSG is a managed IT support company in London, offering expertise across a range of areas including Office 365, Dynamics 365, document management and business intelligence. 

Image by Ahmad Ardity from Pixabay