Earlier this year, IDC announced the preliminary findings of its latest research into the worldwide IT leasing and financing market. The most significant revelation so far is the expected growth of the sector by 30 per cent in the next three years, passing the $100bn mark by 2010. In addition, IDC predicts that, by the same year, software and services financing will represent about half of the worldwide IT leasing and financing market.
The predicted growth in software and services financing comes as no surprise, as users increasingly look to the subscription model to pay for and maintain their software. Naturally, customers want the best software to run their business, with upgrades installed as soon as they become available. End-users need to avoid upfront payments and to pay as they go, per seat, per hour or according to usage.
But despite the prediction of a worldwide compound annual growth rate of more than eight per cent, the UK is still lagging behind some of the world’s biggest IT adopters when it comes to IT finance and leasing.
Part of the problem lies with the banking system. Despite their expertise in more traditional forms of finance, banks are still unwilling to adapt to the need for financing options that cater for software and services. They tend to recommend their own, less flexible and more expensive options.
The trick for resellers that want to meet the growing demand for new payment models is to integrate IT finance into the sales process from the start. By creating a subscription-style payment option for software and services, they can enable customers to afford the best and latest technologies, deliver demonstrable return on investment from the outset and help maintain a healthy cashflow both for their customers and themselves.
By integrating finance into the sales process and developing the kinds of payment options customers want, resellers will be able to do more business, develop more profitable relationships with customers and improve their own long-term financial stability.
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