Companies are radically changing the way they select software, shifting away from simplicity and pure innovation to pre-integrated and interoperable products that satisfy specific business objectives.
Analyst firm IDC reported today that enterprise software customers perceive themselves to be in the " driving seat" and are creating "a new natural selection dynamic for the software industry".
The research group based its observations on a recent study in software buying trends, which analysed the results of 10 recent surveys conducted among enterprises.
"It should be abundantly clear from the results of this study, which stem from multiple countries, that customers will increasingly select vendors that demonstrate verifiable knowledge of their business. The pure technology buy is a thing of the past," said Tony Picardi, senior vice president of global software at IDC.
The IDC study identified three main criteria increasingly used by customers to select a vendor.
Suppliers must demonstrate a thorough understanding of the customer's business, provide applications that integrate and interoperate in their specific environment, and offer best-of-breed features with superior quality and price and value advantages.
"There was relatively little enthusiasm for items such as simplicity and innovation," said Picardi.
"Customers want software vendors to go the extra mile and produce real solutions that integrate and interoperate in their particular businesses. For vendors, it is clear that the bar is being raised."
IDC predicted that the top three selection criteria - solutions, business orientation and best-of-breed features - will ultimately yield an advantage for vendors perceived as "software brokers".
Conversely, there will be a marginal disadvantage for vendors that continue to approach the market as pure-play software publishers.
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