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CIOs eager to disrupt the way organisations adopt and consume technology: Helion report

Helion-Venture-PartnersWith the evolving demands of CIOs, Indian product startups are providing a range of solutions across technologies, according to a report by Helion Venture Partners which is mapping enterprise IT demands to startup solutions.

The report, which was based on a study covering over a 100 CIOs and IT decision makers (ITDMs) across large conglomerates, SMEs, as well as nearly 300 startups, found that CIOs were eager to tap into the huge potential and disrupt the way organisations adopt and consume technology.

Here are some of the findings of the report.

Mobility, security and analytics come under the radar of CIOs: Technologies that are constantly under the radar of ITDMs are topped by mobility solutions and mobile apps, while security, analytics and collaboration solutions are also eliciting a lot of interest. An emerging, but potentially strong contender for attention is the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) syndrome, as it is likely to play a key role in their organisations. Cloud solutions (both private and hybrid) are also being closely watched. Use of personal cloud by employees, though a small trend, is also under the overall 'cloud solution' tracking of these organisations.

Indian product startups geared to disrupt IT adoption: Most companies have already developed and deployed application solutions. Business analytics and big data solutions, enterprise services and mobility solutions are also being offered. Key functions targeted by these solutions include sales, business development, service delivery, HR and supply chain.

Younger technologies expected to drive agility and flexibility of organisations: Solutions arising from new technologies could not only improve business processes and customer services, but also increase the agility and flexibility of the organisation itself. Some of the concerns plaguing ITDMs and driving them to seek new solutions include increasing demand to invest in new technologies by business users, upgrading their aged IT systems and increasing security risks with information management.

The study reflects that a bucketful of new-age technologies which are less than a decade old is expected to address these concerns. Mobility solutions top the list, followed by solutions in collaboration, security, mobile apps and big data or business analytics. Surprisingly, cost is not a major factor that is driving the adoption of these new technologies.

CIOs and top IT decision makers keen to look at startups: The perception about solutions from startups is encouraging as most of them see a demo, implement on a trial basis or conduct a review. While some of them invest in a limited implementation of the solution, others are willing to invest in a full implementation of the solution.

India emerging as the hotbed to test technologies for developed and emerging markets: Entrepreneurs agree that there are elements of 'India advantage' in the ecosystem, especially with relation to cost of product development, implementation and support. India offers ease of pilot testing and availability of technical skills which contribute to enhancing the global product offering. However, limited availability of funding and infrastructure poses serious challenges to sustenance.

Technology buyers keen to fuel startup ecosystem: In a bid to fuel the technology product surge in India, ITDMs are demonstrating a new-fangled willingness to help startups beyond mere purchases. Most of them are willing to work and play an advisory role with the startup to help evolve or improve the product and provide customer references.

Startups and IT decision makers are not completely aligned with factors contributing to the purchase decision: While performance and reliability of the solution, vendor support, scalability and costs are the key factors influencing the purchase decision, they are still not aligned with several other factors. There is a great emphasis on the features and functionality of the solution. Technical specifications of the solution were also the key to purchase decision.

Hierarchy, access and appetite for risk are chief bottlenecks for startups: Hierarchy in decision-making is the most important hurdle in selling to enterprises, while access to the right people and the risk appetite of CIOs for startup solutions came up as challenges too. Other pain points include mindset of the business user, lack of sufficient customer references and the opportunity cost of a demo.

Chief concerns when buying from a startup: IT decision makers primarily worry about the reliability of the solution as well as the long-term quality of support from a startup vendor. Scalability of the solution and its performance are also aspects which IT buyers believe that startups must fine-tune in order to seal the deal.

Final verdict

This is a great time to be a technology product startup from India, given the maturing ecosystem, and a plethora of exciting global opportunities both in the highly mature markets as well as emerging ones. Entrepreneurs must look at a diverse set of influencers, including the buyer group, who will help strengthen their product offering if they want to completely harness this opportunity. It helps to keep an ear to the ground, and align with the expectations of the buyer group, especially those concerning performance, scalability and vendor support.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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