Gartner, Inc. highlighted the top trends that will impact technology providers through 2025. These trends reflect three overarching themes: businesses increasing their reliance on technology, new opportunities emerging through technology and the impact of external macro forces.
“The march of digitalization continues even amidst disruption, and technology providers have a leading role to play,” said Rajesh Kandaswamy, Distinguished VP Analyst and Gartner Fellow. “In 2023, product leaders and technology executives must balance short-term planning with long-term strategy to stay ahead of the immediate shocks to the economy and the underlying ‘permacrisis’ forces shaping business.”
Here are the trends Gartner identified that will impact technology customers, buyers, products, ecosystems, business models and operating models worldwide for at least the next three years:
Democratization of Technology
The democratization of technology empowers non-IT workers to seek out, select, implement and custom fit their own technology. This trend offers opportunities to meet the needs of a new set of citizen developers and business technologists. Gartner predicts that by 2025, 55% of all successful emerging technology solutions will be delivered to “nontraditional” buyers – for example, outside IT – within enterprises, enabling vendors to expand into new markets and forge new customer relationships.
Federated Enterprise Technology Buying
In a federated buying process, buying decisions are made by representatives across the business. Driven by the democratization of technology, federated enterprise technology buying is accelerating, with just 26% of technology buyers in a recent Gartner survey reporting that purchases are funded solely by IT.
“Federated buying creates opportunities for product leaders as it enables a focus on more value-added services for business customers,” said Emil Berthelsen, VP Analyst at Gartner. “However, it also adds complexity, forcing changes to go-to-market models and demanding a greater focus on value scenarios and outcomes.”
Product-led growth (PLG) is a go-to-market strategy in which users experience value through free product offers or interactive or automated demonstrations. Then, users are either converted directly to paid accounts or their advocacy and influence helps to drive purchases. By 2025, 95% of software-as-a-service (SaaS) providers will employ a form of self-service PLG for new customer acquisition.
“PLG is hitting its stride in B2B after much acclaim in the B2C technology world,” said Kandaswamy. “It can reduce cost to acquire customers and shorter sales cycles relative to traditional buyer-oriented, top-down marketing and sales strategies.”
The co-innovation ecosystem approach is an emerging practice that enables the convergence of internal, external, collaborative and co-creative ideas to create new value. Businesses are actively using technology to differentiate and succeed, so they are increasingly co-innovating with tech providers.
“With a co-innovation partner ecosystem, technology providers can meet pressing customer needs through use of shared skills, technology expertise, investment and incentives,” said Kandaswamy.
Technology buyers are embracing digital marketplaces to easily find, procure, implement and integrate technology solutions. Non-tech buyers are also increasingly looking to marketplaces to meet their requirements for composable and easily consumable technology solutions.
“Technology and service providers are increasing their investment in marketplace channels as they seek growth opportunities and competitive advantage,” said Kandaswamy. “A digital marketplace accelerates time to market, extends outreach to target segments, expands partner ecosystems and speeds up the sales cycle.”
Intelligent applications will create value and disrupt markets by learning, adapting and generating new ideas and outcomes. For example, generative artificial intelligence (AI) is an emerging technology quickly gaining traction for commercial use within intelligent applications. Generative AI can produce novel media content (including text, image, video and audio), synthetic data and models of physical objects.
“Product leaders should expect generative AI features that empower workforces with augmented and creative capabilities to be a new competitive front in intelligent applications,” said Kandaswamy.
Metaverse Technologies for Marketing and Customer Experience (CX)
Metaverse technologies are rapidly gaining traction in marketing for creating unique experiences, impactful interactions and novel engagement. By 2027, over 40% of large organizations worldwide will be using a combination of Web3, spatial computing and digital twins in metaverse-based projects aimed at increasing revenue.
“B2B marketers have an opportunity to apply metaverse technologies and the immersive experiences they provide to expand customer reach and engagement and improve CX,” said Kandaswamy. “Early adopters are using metaverse technologies to host events in virtual spaces, conduct internal and external sales meetings, showcase products and more.”
“Sustainable business has transformed into a ‘must have’ rather than a ‘nice to have,’” said Kandaswamy. “In an increasingly technology-driven world, sustainable business is underpinned by sustainable technology.”
Technology providers must improve the sustainability of their products that enable sustainable business outcomes. A recent Gartner survey found that 42% of leaders are currently leveraging sustainability activities to drive innovation, differentiation and enterprise growth through sustainable products. Gartner predicts that by 2025, tech providers that can quantify their offering’s positive contribution to customers’ sustainability objectives will increase their win rate by 20%.
A trend away from globalization and into mercantilism is causing global markets to become increasingly local, impacting global technology ecosystems. Policy decisions are driving countries to implement of digital sovereignty regulations, causing a divergence of technology stacks. In response to this trend, product leaders must balance meeting specific country-level localization needs and product profitability.