Ad Image

Three Ways AI is Changing B2B Software Buying

B2B Software

B2B Software

As part of Solutions Review’s Contributed Content Series—a collection of articles written by industry thought leaders in maturing software categories—Chris Voce, VP of Market Research at G2, identifies three ways artificial intelligence (AI) affects B2B software buying habits.

“Do more with less.” We’ve all heard this business mandate, even more so amid the economic headwinds we face. As a result, tech budgets,  including expenses on software, are being re-examined with a much closer eye. While one might expect to see a sweeping reduction in budgets, many business leaders are focusing on value instead. They recognize the benefit of software products and services to help them work smarter, more efficiently, and deliver ROI. A G2 survey of 1,700 global B2B software decision-makers found that nearly half (49 percent) said they would increase their tech and software spending in 2023. 

In 2023, artificial intelligence (AI) emerged as a dominant force, reshaping the software landscape as businesses continue to invest in technology to drive efficiency, business value, and innovation. Here’s why:

Software buyers trust AI and prioritize its functionality in their software purchases.  

Once a futuristic innovation, AI is now a must-have, sought-after competitive edge for many organizations. The companies we work with daily increasingly prioritize AI functionality in their software investments, believing in the promise and reliability of AI-driven solutions. In fact, an astounding 81 percent of B2B software decision-makers globally expressed that future software purchases should have AI functionality, while less than 5 percent deemed it unimportant. The truth is that those implementing AI and educating themselves on the software are winning, and those who do not are destined to be left behind. 

Implementing generative AI into existing infrastructures is not only feasible but beneficial, and companies are catching on. While we all recognize there are concerns with AI—including legal and ethical concerns, as well as its ability to deliver reliable results. However, regarding the latter—the performance of AI-powered solutions—an impressive 78 percent of B2B software buyers express confidence in the accuracy of these tools. 

What you should do about it: Invest in AI, but don’t just stop at acquisition. Implement long-term strategies to educate employees on maximizing AI’s potential and strategically integrate it into your tech stack. 

AI will drive legal teams to become increasingly involved in software purchases. 

G2 believes one of the downstream impacts of the AI frenzy is the increasingly prominent role of legal teams in software purchases to protect company data and reduce potential risks in using AI-powered solutions. Regulation historically lags behind technological advancements, which causes issues with implementation, privacy, and education, to name a few. Now, it’s more important than ever for legal teams to become involved in the software process, from purchase to integration to training. 

Most respondents (84 percent) indicate their IT department is responsible for conducting security or privacy assessments when evaluating software, but 40 percent say their legal department is involved. If we zero in on just those respondents who have indicated a strong interest in buying AI software—55 percent of those AI buyers report legal is involved. Anecdotally, a CEO from a large enterprise software vendor shared his customers were asking for AI features but said their legal teams were saying no.

What you should do about it: Ensure your legal team is involved in software purchases and is aware of the regulations and potential risks associated with AI, especially if you’re considering AI plug-ins and chatbots like ChatGPT. Perhaps even more importantly, have a process in place for non-legal business leaders and software users to be aware of legal guidelines and know when to expedite issues or questions to the legal team for input. If you’re a software vendor integrating AI into your offering, get ready to answer your prospect and customer questions to help deals continue to move.

AI software buying is going to begin dominating the biggest software deals. 

AI is not just leading the charge in the software industry; it’s commanding the financial forefront. Despite the economic volatility, companies are ready to shell out big bucks on AI due to its revolutionary impact on the industry. When it comes to software buying, 84 percent of AI buyers typically participate in transactions exceeding $50,000, while 72 percent are involved in deals surpassing $100,000. As AI spending continues to soar, PwC predicts that AI could fuel the global economy by over $15 trillion by 2030. 

What you should do about it: Don’t shy away from significant AI investments. The returns on AI are poised to be substantial, so consider in-house AI development or strategic mergers and acquisitions.

As tech leaders, we have a fantastic opportunity to incorporate AI into our offerings, either through in-house development or strategic mergers and acquisitions. However, as buyers increasingly demand swift, efficient AI solutions, we must focus on our ability to integrate with other tools, educate customers throughout their journey, and offer effective training during implementation.

In the end, those vendors who can successfully navigate this AI-driven shift will be the ones who come out on top. And as we make these strategic decisions, we keep one eye on the horizon, eager to see what other transformations AI will bring. As I tell my team, the key to success is prioritizing these AI innovations, staying smart about it by involving legal, and not losing sight of the importance of investing in software to remain on top.

Share This

Related Posts