B2B Tech: What is New Enterprise and Why is Everybody Talking About It?by@phillcomm

B2B Tech: What is New Enterprise and Why is Everybody Talking About It?

by PhillComm GlobalOctober 10th, 2023
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"New Enterprise" is an approach to business that is quickly gaining momentum in many sectors, especially tech: We explore what it is and why it is matters.
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By Douglas Milburn, co-founder and president of 45Drives

The “New Enterprise” approach is a relatively new concept in the world of B2B tech. It can best be thought of as a complete rejection of restrictive legacy enterprise models at every turn, and it defines the way everything is approached: the customer, products, and servicing. This approach is rooted in versatility, performance, reliability, modularity, user-friendly access, and freedom from hyper-aggressive contract agreements and terms.

According to an article by McKinsey, the digital transformation fueled explosive growth in the enterprise tech sector during the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic. The adoption rates of digital or digitally enabled products accelerated by seven years in 2020. As a result, a new enterprise go-to-market (GTM) playbook is emerging that disrupts traditional enterprise sales from both the top down and the bottom up.

B2B tech customers are demanding expertise above all else. While organizations once looked to tech sales teams for guidance when purchasing products and solutions, they now require more robust assistance in catalyzing and guiding their digital transformations. This is a far more sophisticated role for enterprise sales teams: it requires technical acumen, detailed industry knowledge, and integrated solutions to ensure that value is realized throughout the life cycle. Customers now prioritize expertise over elements such as having a single point of contact, and their buying decisions increasingly involve a wide range of stakeholders instead of just IT.

Customers crave the simple, highly personalized, self-service experience that has come to characterize other forms of e-commerce, from groceries to clothing to used-car sales. In fact, more than 30 percent of B2B customers are already using digital and self-serve channels for each stage of the buying journey. The growth of simple-to-deploy, cloud-based solutions has paved the way for new buying models that make this experience possible.

The main idea here, though, concerns what end is brought about with great expertise–keeping in mind that, of course, legacy enterprise certainly has specialized knowledge. It’s just that New Enterprise will always use expertise as a vehicle to steer the customer to whatever his/her desired destination might be, whereas Legacy usually has a stiff destination already in mind, whether or not it's always right for the customer.

According to an article by Forbes, B2B buyer behavior has undergone dramatic changes in recent years. The article discusses how these changes impact the go-to-market strategy and how to adapt to evolving preferences in the buyer journey; “Because two distinct forces—the demand for expertise and the demand for simplicity—are shaping the future of GTM, adapting to this new world is a complex undertaking. Companies that are bold enough to embrace the challenge now will position themselves to outperform in the long run.” Another article by Gartner suggests that there will be an increase in product-led growth strategies that offer prospects an earlier experience of the product. This growth, as suggested by the article, coupled with the rise of digital marketplaces, will ultimately lead to the incorporation of IT and tech outsiders making enterprise buying decisions, as it becomes easier for potential buyers to find, procure, implement, and integrate technology solutions.

Unpacking the Central Pillars of the New Enterprise Ethos

The “New Enterprise” approach is on the rise not only in infrastructure and data storage sectors but also in other nascent industries. Disruptive firms and individuals are embracing this type of thinking to create innovative solutions that challenge the status quo. Let’s dive into the pillars and pull this thing apart.

Probably the most defining characteristic of this type of thinking is its focus on the customer. Companies that adopt the “New Enterprise” approach prioritize customer satisfaction above all else. They understand that today’s savvy customers are looking for more than just a product or service; they want an experience that is tailored to their needs. Think more of a partnership built to last than a one-off transaction. This customer-centric approach requires companies to be agile and adaptable, able to pivot quickly to meet changing customer demands.

Another important pillar of New Enterprise thinking is its emphasis on modularity. Companies that embrace this approach understand that they need to be able to adapt quickly to changing market conditions. They build their products and services with modularity in mind, allowing them to be easily customized and adapted to meet the needs of different customers. It’s also important to note that modularity enables highly bespoke, à la carte pricing, getting the customer a right-sized offering with everything they need and nothing they’re forced to take that they don’t want.

And then there’s user-friendly access: Entities that adopt this approach understand that their products and services need to be easy to use and accessible to everyone. They design their products with the end-user in mind, making sure that they are intuitive and easy to navigate.

Finally, the “New Enterprise” approach emphasizes freedom from hyper-aggressive contract agreements and terms. Companies that adopt this approach understand that they need to be flexible in their business dealings. They are willing to negotiate with customers and partners to find mutually beneficial solutions.

Outside of my own core field of focus, I don’t have to look far to find some great examples of folks operating with the spirit of New Enterprise- whether or not they know the ethos of that term. For example, Framework makes laptops with a right to repair–something you almost never see in consumer-facing computing–and they even put QR codes on components that link to instructions on how to self-service. Modular laptops! And then there’s Mint Mobile, who really cut through the fray, providing an online-only process that streamlines cell phone ownership, empowering the buyer through a tailored experience and needs-based product. Lastly, there's Donald Miller of StoryBrand- a great example of a customer-centric model that helps the customer achieve their goal through the synthesis and integration of concise and effective messaging to more effectively reach their desired market.

In conclusion, global market forces are driving a shift toward a preference for the “New Enterprise” approach in B2B tech. Disruptive firms and individuals are embracing this type of thinking to create innovative solutions that challenge the status quo. This is simply the way forward as we enter the next epoch of computing- and business, in general.

_About Doug Milburn_*

As a long-time entrepreneur and innovator, Dr. Doug Milburn thrives on solving problems. For more than 35 years, he has brought his vision and passion to manufacturing, engineering, software development, and process engineering. Throughout his leadership, Dr. Milburn has aimed to create great workplaces by shaping a company’s success through corporate values and ethical guidelines.

Born and raised in Nova Scotia, Canada, Dr. Milburn earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees in physics at Mount Allison University before finishing his studies with a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at the University of Waterloo. In 2001, Dr. Milburn co-founded Protocase with Steve Lilley. Protocase helps engineers, innovators, and scientists accelerate their project timelines by manufacturing custom metal enclosures and parts in 2-3 days, with no minimum order requirements.

Lilley and Dr. Milburn took the entrepreneurial leap once more in 2014 with the start of 45Drives. As a new enterprise company, 45Drives helps companies manage and scale their data storage needs with ultra-large storage servers and clusters that are powerful, flexible, and affordable.