The business challenge
Crayon is a leading and full-service consultancy specialised in digital transformation. Based in Norway, they employ 3,300 employees in nearly 40 countries.
Crayon wanted to raise awareness around cost-optimised technology and digital transformation, showcasing their expertise in that space so they could captivate their audience with relevant and exciting content.
Crayon initially commissioned Sapio Research in 2022 to build an understanding of how IT decision-makers across the world experience and prioritise IT cost optimisation. A year later (2023), they decided to once again investigate the opportunities and challenges faced by IT decision-makers regarding how they manage and optimise their IT estates through the entire lifecycle.
Based on the results from the previous year and in collaboration with Crayon, we decided to dive deeper into some of the trends that we observed.
Raising awareness, building authority and generating great coverage by producing insightful, expert content.
Our research solution and approach
Quantitative research followed by content creation
In February 2023, Sapio Research conducted a survey among 2,008 IT decision-makers and buyers/procurement leaders in organisations with 200+ employees across 18 countries, including Australia, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Switzerland, The Netherlands, UAE, UK, and USA.
To ensure results were comparable to a similar survey conducted in 2022, we took every step and precaution to guarantee a close match with the sample.
The survey was conducted online using email invitations and an online survey.
Aside from conducting the research and delivering the data & insights, Crayon commissioned Sapio Research to produce valuable thought-leadership content.
The content was tailored to Crayon’s objectives and the research, helping them to engage their audience and position themselves as experts and leaders in their field.
Crayon successfully raised awareness around IT cost optimisation, sharing their expertise on this topic and positioning themselves as a leader in their field:
- Highlighting how important having an IT cost optimisation strategy is for organisations across the globe
- Showcasing their expert understanding of the challenges and opportunities faced by organisations that adopt a cost optimisation mindset
- Demonstrating how their audience can extract greater value from their ever-changing IT estates
In addition the data and insights, Sapio Research provided the content for five blog posts. Some highlighting findings from 2023, some from 2022 and some comparing them. Here are some examples:
By producing key insights and writing expert, targeted blogs, Sapio research enabled Crayon to:
- connect with their target audience by providing valuable information about the challenges they face and trends and areas they can focus on
- showcase their knowledge and position themselves as experts in their space
- convince and convert, leading potential customers to consider them as their chosen service provider to support them in their journey towards IT cost optimisation
The insights generated by our research also provided endless possibilities and opportunities for content marketing, enabling Crayon to reuse and multipurpose the blogs that we initially created.
The research in detail – topics and key findings
The state of IT cost optimisation – Insights from IT decision-makers
Following the initial research conducted in 2022, additional markets and topics were explored. This included how organisations adapted and filled the gaps, and where the greatest support around cost optimisation can be provided.
Through the research, Crayon wanted to understand, analyse and evaluate the following trends and behaviours:
- The need and pressure to reduce or optimise IT costs, and how the economic downturn has so far affected IT spending
- The different methods used to optimise IT costs, specifically around cloud management practices (FinOps and Software Asset Management)
- The challenges companies or individuals are facing, as well as potential pain points and blockers
- The areas where organisations require support with the above, including attitudes to potential solutions
- The extent to which organisations seek external support when it comes to optimising their IT estates, and what type of support they need
The survey clearly emphasised a need for cost optimisation due to a lack of understanding of organisations’ IT spending and IT decision makers believing there is room for improvement in managing their IT estate.
Despite this, organisations are striving to adopt a cost optimisation mindset, and the majority have already implemented a framework or clear guidelines to measure the success of cost management initiatives. They are engaging external consultants to help with cost optimisation and are starting to introduce FinOps and SAM practices to help improve capabilities and practices.
However, challenges persist in areas such as license management and cloud spend optimisation, creating opportunities for organisations to seek external support and expertise in these areas. By leveraging these insights, organisations can refine their cost optimisation strategies, drive efficiency, and maximise the value derived from their IT investments.
A rise of the cost optimisation mindset
There is an evident shift in focus towards finding efficient and cost-effective solutions in IT operations, highlighting the increased importance organisations place on managing and reducing their expenses in this area.
A staggering 91% of C-suite executives (IT decision makers) identified the optimisation of their cost structure as a high priority, and 87% of organisations have already adopted a cost optimisation mindset.
Approximately 62% of organisations have implemented a FinOps practice, which involves the integration of financial and operational aspects to optimise IT spending. Furthermore, 11% are already in the ‘run phase’ (continuously improving their FinOps capabilities and practices) and over three quarters in total (77%) have already implemented a Software Asset Management practice.
54% of all businesses report that they are now looking into IT spending more carefully and through a business value perspective.
A positive economic outlook for IT investments
Nearly half (48%) of the surveyed IT decision-makers expect the economic climate to have a positive effect on IT investments in the short term. This sentiment increases to 54% when considering the long term, specifically in 2024 and beyond. These findings indicate a growing confidence in the value and potential return on IT investments.
Opportunities and challenges for organisations across the world
The survey highlighted a clear need for organisations to be more in control over their unused software licences. Only 39% of organisations reported having 100% visibility and control over those, which highlights a significant area of opportunity for optimizing IT costs through better license management and utilisation.
As a result, the research highlighted a strong demand for external expertise and guidance when it comes to optimising and managing cloud-related expenses effectively. Among the various areas of cost optimisation, the sharing of knowledge on cloud spend optimisation emerged as the most popular area where organisations sought external consultants’ assistance, with 40% of respondents indicating working with a consultant to help them through the process.