In just the past couple of weeks alone I have met with MD’s of over 20 IT providers in Australia. The providers have ranged from some of the largest providers, (IBM, Cisco, Dell), through Indian based providers, MNC and local software firms and everything in between. Without exception the local MD is a happy man or woman at this point in time, having seen growth in 2011. Most are growing at rates 2X GDP, and for the global MNC’s at a rate in excess of their overall parents global growth rate. Revenue numbers are good, business is growing. Even most commoditised providers are smiling. This highlights the fundamental strength of the IT market in Australia, investment is strong in key sectors. Clearly the mining sector is driving some of this, but core platform investments in Financial Services, NBN and other factors are at play. Public sector growth has been difficult but possible.
There are two key factors to play, one focused on now, one on the future.
If you are not growing profitably in the Australian market it is not them, it is you.
2012 and beyond may not be so simple for traditional vendors focused on selling to technology executives. It is not because the economic fundamentals will dramatically deteriorate in the Australian economy. There will still be confidence in the local market. The shift is naturally in who is buying technology and how it is being procured. The CIO budget is being reduced, but new investment from outside IT is more than replacing the decline.
ANZ is not the only market facing this. It is of course a global trend. capioIT sees similar trends in Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea.
If you sell to the CIO only (and determine this by being real, not aspirational) then you need to rapidly change your direct and indirect model. If you genuinely sell to the business, expect more complexity in the channel and direct as your partners and competitors look to shift their business focus. The good news for organisations who sell non commoditised goods to the non IT departments, is that it is not a simple task to completely transform a sales and delivery team.