Gartner: Government Tech Purchase Decisions Take on Average 22 Months
IT channel partners focused on the government space need to be prepared for long sales cycles, according to Gartner. At 22 months, the public sector has the longest average buying cycle for technology purchases compared to other industries, according to a recent survey.
According to the report, government C-level executives are less involved than private sector counterparts. But more than two-thirds attribute delays to lack of specific information from the technology provider.
Nearly half of respondents reported six or more moderate or significant delays in the buying process. The cumulative impact of delaying factors such as changes in scope added seven months, on average, to the government technology buying cycle.
“Technology acquisition brings challenges to the public sector that do not commonly exist in other industries,” said Dean Lacheca, VP Analyst at Gartner. “Each jurisdiction has its own procurement laws and policies, and within that, each agency or department can have its own interpretation of them. A failure to conform to the rules can have serious consequences, from unwanted publicity to personal risk of prosecution.”
The factors most reported as resulting in significant delays often occur before what would be considered the official procurement process begins. Some of these factors include developing the business case, scope changes requiring additional research and evaluation, and reaching agreement around budgeting.
“While government buying cycles can be long, it is important to note that these time frames are not set,” said Lacheca. “Initial planned timelines can be delayed as a result of a combination of both controllable and uncontrollable factors, especially when no external deadlines exist.”
Chosen providers are much more likely to provide fact-based, actionable content to the buying team, according to the report. Gartner recommends technology providers maintain an easily accessible list of public sector reference clients and build a diverse library of product collateral with a strong focus on value assessment, which can be leveraged across all stages of the buying cycle. Public sector organizations are significantly more likely to value references from existing clients than non-public sector buyers are, partly because public sector organizations are rarely in direct competition and often share common challenges.
In November and December 2021, Gartner surveyed 1,120 executives involved in technology evaluation or selection, including 79 from the public sector, to understand how organizations approach large-scale buying efforts for enterprise technology. Gartner clients can read more in “Insights into the Nature and Behavior of Public-Sector Buyer Teams.”
Through the years, government IT has often been the domain of channel partners who specify in this particular market segment.
CompTIA: Tech Employment Continues on the Upswing
New employment data shows that employers continue to grow their technology teams, according to CompTIA, a nonprofit IT trade association based in suburban Chicago.
Tech sector companies added 25,500 net new workers in August, with growth in five major occupation categories, based on CompTIA’s analysis of recent data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Tech industry employment has increased by 175,700 jobs in 2022 and is tracking 46% ahead of last year and 92% ahead of 2019.
Companies throughout the economy added an estimated 21,000 tech workers for the month. The unemployment rate for tech occupations edged up to 2.3% paralleling the directional change of the national unemployment rate (3.7%).
Tech industry employment gains now extends to 21 consecutive months
“Stability in tech hiring continues to be an over-arching theme this year,” said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA. “Despite all the economic noise and pockets of layoffs, aggregate tech hiring remains consistently positive.”
Employer job postings for tech positions eased back in August, coming in at just under 320,000. Companies are seeking a range of tech skills, including software development and engineering, IT support, IT project management, systems engineering and network engineering.
Among industries, the largest numbers of job postings occurred in professional, scientific, and technical services, finance and insurance, manufacturing, information, and retail trade. Employment opportunities in tech are available across the country, in markets large, medium, and small. The New York City, Washington, Dallas, Chicago, and Los Angeles metro areas had the most job postings for tech positions, while Allentown (PA), Raleigh (NC) and Columbus (OH) recorded the largest month-over-month increases in tech job postings.
CompTIA’s analysis also shows that options for remote work and work from home continue to increase for technology workers. From January through August 2022, tech job postings where employers specify remote work is up 56% over last year and 281% from the pre-pandemic year of 2019.
Within the tech sector, new hiring in the IT services and custom software development occupation category, which expanded by 14,400 workers, paced August’s job gains. Solid growth also occurred in computer and electronic products manufacturing (+4,500), data processing, hosting, and related services (+3,200) and other information services, including search engines (+3,000). Telecommunications jobs increased by a modest 400.
The data reaffirms tech’s essential role in powering business and industry and reinforces the opportunity for the indirect sales channel.
Westcon-Comstor launches new Cloud & Collaboration Business Division
Westcon-Comstor has launched its new Cloud & Collaboration business division, providing specialist support to vendors and partners in the growing cloud and collaboration space. The unit will have responsibility for vendor management and local execution, with vendors such as 8×8, Avaya, Jabra, Microsoft, Mitel, Poly, Ringcentral and Spectralink already on board. The team is comprised of sales personnel, business development managers, marketing, and pre/post-sales support, initially focusing on the UK&I, Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, and Italy.
“With the economy shifting to subscription models, and our vendors to recurring revenues, it became clear that we needed to change the way we work in this space”, said René Klein, Executive Vice President, Westcon Europe. “Cloud technology is in high demand, even more so thanks to the hybrid work evolution. By reinventing how we work with this particular vendor community, we’ll improve our support to partners and ensure their success.”
“The vendor landscape is complex, but we can help our partners succeed through integrations and synergies, helping them navigate ecosystems,” said Antony Byford, VP, Cloud & Collaboration. “Partners need support operating within this new model. They now need to manage their businesses differently thanks to the introduction of cloud billing systems and automation. Vendors need the channel community to help support their accelerated drive to these models and Westcon-Comstor is here to facilitate this.”
The overarching aim of the division is to support partners both from a commercial and a marketing perspective, creating cross-vendor upsell opportunities to stimulate growth.