Have you ever worked in an office during the shift to a new technology solution? If so, you surely remember a long transition during which employees begrudgingly migrated their files and work processes. Whether employees actually liked the new system or not was irrelevant; they all had to move to it by a certain date because the old system would no longer be supported. With such a large capital expense, the entire organization needed to support the change.
That situation is dying a quick death because of one incredibly disruptive force: the Cloud.
Since Cloud-based technology services are offered using "software as a service" models, the cost of entry is negligible and installation is fairly easy, and the blessing of the IT department is no longer vital before moving forward.
Today, enterprise IT buyers can come from any functional area of the business. Budget approvals and compatibility testing have been replaced by "check it out and see what happens"; if it doesn't work, try something else or go back to the old system.
The risk of making a poor decision is lower than ever simply because changing to a new solution has become easier.
This new model has wreaked havoc on the traditional marketing model, which was refined over decades around large, infrequent spends presided over by a few key decision-makers and driven by IT.
With the acceleration of a larger "as a service" economy that includes "hardware as a service" and "infrastructure as a service," this disruption of tried-and-true sales processes is expanding beyond technology into multiple verticals.
Perhaps the most seismic shift, though, has occurred in the role of vendors in product adoption.