Tech vendors: ignore those dollar signs behind the curtain

Think your vendor's ready to deal? Maybe not: New Forrester Research survey data shows that despite the recession, tech vendors are pushing customers buzzwords about innovation, value and ROI -- not lowering prices.

So, instead, technology vendors appeared more wedded to pushing tech jargon and buzzwords: The data indicates that vendors "are far more interested in providing complete solutions and value-add capabilities than they are in generating price wars," notes the Forrester report, and "are getting more tactical with existing accounts and using value propositions based on flexibility and return on investment (ROI) to justify their marketing and sales tactics."

It's important to note the motivations of the survey base: Some tech vendors would rather kill their mothers than talk up price concessions or discounts. Pushing "value propositions" and "flexibility" and "innovation" ( even when customers don't actually need it) are much more attractive to them.

Still, the Forrester report calls out two other noteworthy trends for IT decision makers: Projects that have strong business cases-such as virtualization projects or software-as-a-service rollouts-are still getting the green light; and IT is requiring much more business stakeholder input and responsibility than in the past, which is key to improving any business and IT disconnects.

"The data indicates that influence from business stakeholders has become even more important in the current economic climate," writes Andrews. "This may be because IT is becoming more risk-averse in purchasing decisions and wants more input from diverse stakeholders, but it more likely relates to the fact that technology spending in the current environment is driven primarily by business needs."

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Thomas Wailgum

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