I'm at a Red Hat channel event, listening to Toni Clayton-Hine, managing director of The Institute for Partner Education & Development at CMP Media, talk through software acquisitions in the recessionary economy, especially as it pertains to business partners (resellers, system integrators, etc.).
CMP Media surveyed 250 North American partners to try to get a read on their customers' spending priorities and directions, as well as channel priorities for 2009.
The data are interesting:
Economic uncertainty is pushing companies to prove technology before buying it, which skews toward open source, which is all about trying before buying; There are fewer trusted options. Many vendors meet or exceed requirements, so buyers want to spend with brands they trust. (Note: Ironically, the "try before you buy" mentality will not always mesh well with this requirement, due to conflicting licensing models); End customers are planning smaller initial projects, with incremental add-ons. (Advantage: open source and SaaS, since both allow vendors to start small and grow organically); Forty-eight percent of end customers are looking to streamline business processes, rather than endure pure cost cuts. Basically, they want to spend money more efficiently, rather than simply cutting heads; Seventy-five percent of end customers are buying some version of managed services, but the definition of "managed services" is quite broad; Twenty-seven percent of channel partners expect to grow their business by more than 15 percent, 40 percent expect to grow their business by 5 percent to 15 percent, and 24 percent plan no changes, suggesting that IT spending may not crater as much as expected in 2009;… Read more