The changes wrought on the business landscape by the COVID-19 pandemic have been enormous. We may only begin to fully realize how significant they’ve been in retrospect, from the vantage point of future years.
In a new video, sponsored by Vendavo, Mark Thomason, Research Director, Digital Business Models and Monetization at IDC, explores what they’ve uncovered about the impact of the pandemic on companies.
But the analysts at IDC, in living up to their promise to “analyze the future,” have been taking a long and deep look at what’s transpired over the past year in order to anticipate where enterprises and markets are headed tomorrow.
A Significant Challenge
Mark gets to the gist of things straight away: The pandemic “has significantly challenged how companies do business. It has forced many companies to become a digital-first enterprise…even faster than they planned.”
Every month since April 2020, IDC has been conducting international surveys on how businesses have been coping with the pandemic. “We created a 5-stage recovery model to find out exactly where companies are on that critical journey,” he says in the video. “The good news is that we are seeing steady improvement from the companies most impacted by the pandemic, as nearly 10% have moved up from the first two stages of recovery. We also see that 24% are already operating as a digital-first enterprise.”
Many companies had digital transformation plans ready to go when the pandemic struck. It forced them to accelerate their plans to “digitize the quote-to-revenue process so they can sell remotely, across more channels, and do it more effectively,” he explains.
Advances in the Tools of Digital Transformation
Companies’ demand for new tools to help drive digital transformation in pricing and selling includes, as IDC sees it, high growth for B2B digital commerce software enabling them to
to sell more efficiently; increased use of CPQ software;
“The goal of these changes is to have the agility to sell where and how your customers want to buy,” Mark points out, “at the right price for that situation.”
The addition of new channels, though, adds complexity to the mix, making it more difficult to manage revenue and profits. “Companies need a scalable way to measure willingness to pay, evaluate competitive pricing situations, predict likeliness to churn, and identify cross-sell opportunities across a growing number of channels, all while maintaining strategic control,” he says.
Quick Payback for Innovation Investments
IDC has been monitoring the advance of SaaS-based, AI-powered price optimization and management solutions for automating those tasks, “so business leaders can price strategically,” Mark says. Companies that have invested in those applications have seen payback in under a year, sometimes in as little as three months. How? Because these solutions have revealed big profit and value opportunities from underpricing.
Vendavo was recognized as a Leader in the IDC MarketScape B2B Price Optimization Applications 2018 Vendor Assessment (doc #US44517118, December 2018), and “since then, they have continued to innovate and advance their AI capabilities to balance pricing power and risk, enabling an intelligent commercial process that maximizes every opportunity,” Mark says.
There’s much more covered in the video, so check it out to learn more about what IDC has to say about the need for digital transformation and pricing optimization, and the agility they lend an organization. “As 2020 has shown us,” Mark reminds us, “gaining that agility can make the vital difference.”