For more than two decades, software vendors have been in control, selling tech-hungry companies a steady stream of new products and services largely on the vendors’ terms.
No longer. In the four years since the collapse in corporate technology spending, the tables gradually have turned — to the point that now, it’s the buyers who are clearly calling the shots. They are wrangling for better prices, demanding software that’s more reliable and secure, and resisting software companies’ push for constant — and expensive — upgrades.
All this represents a seismic shift in power to tech buyers from sellers. Limited tech budgets have given chief information officers more negotiating clout with vendors, who know that many buyers already feel burned by disappointments with previous purchases. Meanwhile, open-source and subscription Web-based software services have emerged as more-serious competitors to the established software giants, putting downward pressure on prices. Combined, these trends mean that customers are demanding — and getting — more and better software for their money.