Capterra: software purchasing trends and insights

By Georgia Wilson
Sonia Navarrete, Content Analyst at Capterra discusses software purchasing trends in 2020, and her predictions for 2021...

Answering six questions reflecting on trends in the previous year and her predictions for the year ahead - 2021 - Sonia Navarrete, Content Analyst at Capterra discusses the software purchasing industry.

What technology and/or approaches have you seen emerge in the industry due to COVID-19? How do these compare to before the outbreak?

Most purchase decisions made during the crisis were decisions based on patching up, for example implementing software that allows employees to work from home when the lockdown began. This has impacted the way companies have based their software purchase decisions. A study by Capterra showed that over half of decision-makers have been forced to invest in new software due to the pandemic.

Therefore, it is not a surprise that the most popular software that companies are using are remote desktop software, live chat software and video conferencing software. In addition, many have had to change their business offering to adapt to the crisis. For example, companies offering events are now offering virtual events via streaming and real estate companies are offering virtual tours using specialised software instead of in-person ones.

What are your predictions for the industry in 2021 and beyond?

One of the consequences of the pandemic has been that many businesses have had to move their business online to be able to continue to operate. Retaining employees and maintaining employee productivity are two of the main concerns for almost half of the managers.

HR leaders should identify the area of the business that has had the most significant changes and have a higher need for skills. Training staff to develop skills that will be needed in the new working environment and looking after the employees’ career paths will be as critical for the day-to-day operations as having the correct infrastructure in place.

Also, remote work will become the norm, and employers will expand their talent pool thanks to it, allowing candidates with perhaps better-suited skills to apply for a job with them regardless of the location, something that before the pandemic would have not been considered.

What are the current challenges in the industry?

COVID-19 has shown the importance of having a business continuity plan, but having the right software is almost as vital. A Capterra study showed that a third of decision-makers didn’t have a business continuity plan in their company before the pandemic. Having a solid plan for unexpected events is crucial. The price of not having a plan can mean loss of data and making the business more vulnerable.

In addition, this crisis has shown that decision-makers need help with choosing the right software. The same study also found that a third of decision-makers in SMEs are at the interest stage level— they know the software they need, but they need to research products that fit their business needs.

We have seen how for many businesses the crisis has meant money loss or, even worse, closing down. Learning from previous experience will help companies to assess the mistakes made during a crisis and create a solid contingency plan that will help them in case of a new one.

How have you seen your industry evolve this year?

The pandemic has not only impacted the software buying decisions in companies but also, in some cases, it has proved how software can be critical to help them change their business model to be able to keep operating. In addition, the lack of solid contingency plans led a large number of SMEs to invest in a rush in software looking at ensuring business continuity.

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