The survey polled 600 senior IT decision makers at large organisations across the financial services, manufacturing, distribution, transportation and other commercial sectors in the UK, France, Germany and the US.
A majority (78 per cent) believe the recession is at least half over, or over, and 85 per cent say they will invest about the same amount or more than last year in B2B integration software or services.
60 percent of companies are considering changing B2B vendors over the next year. Companies believe uncertainty in the B2B integration vendor market puts their business at risk.
A large number of companies (41 per cent overall) are aware of the uncertainty and instability in the B2B integration vendor landscape. Members of this group say instability could affect business:
- 53 per cent believe it could have a direct impact on their trading partner integration
- 43 per cent claim it could disrupt their supply chain and have an impact on costs
Businesses are actively re-thinking their B2B strategies and reviewing integration vendors. Amongst companies who are aware of the instability, many are taking preventative measures:
- 84 per cent are either re-thinking or believe they should be re-thinking their B2B integration strategy
- 41 per cent are re-thinking their B2B integration strategy due to uncertainty in the B2B integration vendor landscape
- 60 per cent are actively considering changing their B2B integration vendor over the next year
- Only 7 per cent do not have any concerns about their B2B integration vendor
In addition to offsetting vendor instability, companies are re-thinking their B2B strategies because:
- 66 per cent say economic uncertainty has affected head-counts or budgets
- Economic uncertainty is more a concern in the US (70 per cent) than the UK (46 per cent)
- 40 per cent need to reduce the cost of the way they do B2B integration
Financial stability and choice of deployment, including mobile options, are key selection criteria in choice of a B2B provider. When asked what is the most important capability to them in a B2B vendor:
- 38 per cent of companies cited financial stability as the most important
- Financial stability is a bigger concern in the US than Europe, with 46 per cent of companies in the US actively looking for a more financially-stable B2B vendor; against 18 per cent in Germany and the UK; and 9 per cent in France
- 28 per cent said the ability to deliver a solution both on premise and as a service (including managed service)
- 57 per cent say that they envisage effectiveness and productivity enhancements as a result of added visibility into their B2B data via a mobile device
Dave Carmichael, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Sterling Commerce said :
Major destabilising activity, such as mergers between B2B integration vendors, is having an impact on companies who are concerned about the financial stability of their B2B partner and realise they need a new approach to B2B integration to insulate their business from risk.
Forty five per cent of respondents say cuts in IT budgets are preventing them from finding a contingency in case of a change in their B2B vendor. Companies now demand B2B integration capabilities that can be deployed, defined and extended in a way that corresponds with the individual needs of their business. This is where a selection of implementation options such as cloud based B2B integration, come into their own to deliver fast return-on-investment, and flexibility, at an affordable cost.