Quocirca research finds IT buyers prefer online B2B marketplaces

B2B procurement is rapidly shifting from traditional sales methods to online channels such as cloud marketplaces, creating opportunities for the print industry to expand its reach to a wider cloud customer base, according to the findings of Quocirca's newly published research report: 'The Rise of Cloud Marketplaces'. 

76 per cent of IT buyers surveyed said they already use online cloud marketplaces, such as those on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud Platform, while 55 per cent have also used B2B marketplaces such as Amazon Business. In contrast, just 30 per cent say they use direct sales channels and only 25 per cent use a formal tender/RFP process. 

Louella Fernandes, Quocirca Director said, "this has considerable implications for industries, such as the office print sector, that have so far relied on traditional channels and partnerships. The procurement process has fundamentally changed as the digital-native generation of IT decision-makers take control. As the office technology industry looks to recover and remain relevant in the cloud-centric, post-pandemic world, manufacturers, ISVs and channel partners must participate in the cloud marketplace ecosystem."

Key data points also include:

  • Cloud adoption has surged: 70% of organisations have increased cloud use and 88% predict further growth in the next two years. Almost half (46%) of organisations expect their IT environment to be running fully in the cloud in 2023, up from just 15% today.
  • A rise in cloud print adoption is boosting online procurement: Most organisations have already implemented (39%) or plan to implement (45%) cloud print management solutions. Over half (54%) have already purchased cloud print and document workflow solutions via cloud marketplaces. 
  • Buyers are developing a preference for cloud marketplaces over other channels: 62% of buyers say they prefer to use cloud marketplaces to purchase cloud print and document workflow solutions, compared with 47% who prefer to use an MSP and 46% who prefer channel partners or direct vendor sales.
  • Smaller organisations have a stronger preference for marketplaces: Overall, 33% of respondents cite simplified procurement as a key benefit of using a cloud marketplace. Smaller organisations (500-999 employees) currently have a stronger affinity for cloud marketplaces than larger (1000+ employees) enterprises.
  • Microsoft Azure is the most used cloud marketplace: Overall, 60% indicate that they have used the Azure marketplace. AWS marketplace and Google Cloud marketplace take second and third spots with 51% and 42% using them respectively.

As cloud marketplaces mature, they are beginning to offer consulting and professional services for customers, offering support for the deployment of solutions and throughout their lifecycle. This represents an opportunity for channel partners to engage directly with customers and build relationships to support digital transformation programmes.  

Louella added, "to advance digital transformation in the print sector and enable vendors to capitalise on the wider cloud market opportunity, OEMs must strategically collaborate and partner with hyperscale provider marketplaces. This will unlock opportunities for vendors to reach a wider market with both cloud print and wider digital workflow solutions – particularly within the SMB market but ultimately across the entire customer base.

"Ultimately, cloud marketplaces can provide an opportunity for vendors across the value chain and means that MPS providers, ISVs and channel partners should collaborate to take advantage, expand the reach and discover new revenue opportunities."

Quocirca's The Rise of Cloud Marketplaces Report draws on a research study of 202 organisations in the UK and US, conducted in June 2021. View a complimentary Executive Summary and infographic here.

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