What to Know about Asia Pacific Software Buying Behavior in 2023

June 15, 2023

As VP of Asia Pacific at G2, I’m constantly keeping a pulse on software buying trends in the region. What’s motivating buyers? What are their challenges and priorities? G2’s annual Software Buyer Behavior Report is one my favorite resources for these insights, offering an inside look at the global software buyer’s mindset.  

We recently released the 2023 edition, based on survey responses from 1,700+ B2B software decision makers in North America, EMEA, and Asia Pacific. On the heels of this global report publishing, I’m taking a closer look at APAC-specific findings to explore the latest buying behavior trends in the region.

Asia-Pacific buyers are more apt to increase software spend, but expect their investment to pay off…fast. 

Of global software buyers, those in Asia Pacific have the most optimistic outlook on planned software and technology spend. In fact, over half (56%) of Asia Pacific respondents anticipate their spend to increase in 2023 – 9 percentage points more than EMEA buyers and 10 points higher than those in North America. The optimism increases for 2024’s outlook, with an even greater regional gap: 65% of Asia Pacific buyers expect spending to increase in 2024, 12 points more than EMEA, and 14 points more than North American buyers. 

Despite their plans for increased spend, Asia Pacific buyers are more likely to expect value from their software investment even faster. Among global respondents, those in Asia Pacific report shorter contract lengths: 60% of Asia Pacific buyers’ average contracts are six months or less, compared with 56% of EMEA buyers and 47% of North American buyers. 

Speaking of the need to prove results quickly, it was also interesting to see that despite Asia Pacific buyers being the most security conscious, they were also the most often to skip proper security vetting and purchase shadow IT — all in the name of moving quickly to deliver ROI.

Specifically, here's what the survey findings reveal: more Asia Pacific buyers (91%) said they require a security or privacy assessment when purchasing software than those in EMEA (85%) and North America (83%). Additionally, software buyers in Asia Pacific consider a vendor’s history with breaches or security incidents when evaluating solutions more often (91%) than those from EMEA (81%) and North America (84%). 

However, 64% of Asia Pacific buyers admitted they have purchased software at work not approved or vetted for security by IT/InfoSec teams, compared to 62% in EMEA and 43% in North America who said this. As the reason for this disconnect, respondents in Asia Pacific were more likely than their regional counterparts to cite the “need to move quickly to deliver results from software” — 93% in Asia Pacific compared to 86% in both EMEA and North America.

Moving fast in purchasing decisions is hard to do when there’s added complexity in the process.

Moving quickly in the software decision process is clearly a priority. But this can be difficult, especially when decision makers are changing, new stakeholders are added, and project scope shifts during the process. And, all three of these things, bringing added complexity to software purchasing decisions, are occurring more in Asia Pacific than other regions according to respondents. 

In terms of the decision maker changing during the software selection process, 76% of Asia Pacific respondents said this happens always/frequently, compared to 71% in EMEA, and 56% in North America. Additionally, stakeholders are always/frequently being added throughout the process for 83% of Asia Pacific buyers — a much higher percentage than those who said this in EMEA (76%) and North America (65%). On top of this, the project scope is changing always/frequently for 78% of Asia Pacific buyers – once again a higher percentage than reported in EMEA (76%) and North America (67%). 

Asia Pacific buyers are most bullish on AI compared to those in EMEA and North America. 

As the AI hype cycle shows no signs of slowing, it’s interesting to see how software buyers are thinking about it. According to our survey respondents, AI is a priority – with buyers in Asia Pacific raising their hand the most: 89% said it’s very important / important that the software they purchase going forward has AI functionality compared to 81% in EMEA and 77% in North America. 

Perhaps part of this push for AI functionality in software is encouraged by the confidence  buyers have in the technology. While most buyers globally said they trust/trust strongly in the accuracy and reliability of AI-powered software software, once again Asia Pacific buyers expressed this sentiment the most (87% compared to 82% and 71% in EMEA and North America respectively). 

Software vendors have an opportunity to better support Asia Pacific buyers on their journey.

The modern software buyer continues to evolve, as the market landscape creates new challenges and opportunities. Our latest report findings at G2 point to what Asia Pacific buyers are looking for today to drive success in their organizations. We’ve seen that some pressures — like the need to drive fast results —have been exacerbated, likely in part due to the current economic climate. With these insights in mind, B2B software vendors have an opportunity to engage Asia Pacific buyers by:

  • Communicating a richer view of value with a focus on delivering ROI
  • Providing guidance and resources to streamline the process, eliminating any friction where possible
  • Leveraging AI functionality as a competitive advantage

To learn more about how software vendors can tap into buyer behavior to support their journeys, download the full 2023 G2 Software Buyer Behavior Report

What to Know about Asia Pacific Software Buying Behavior in 2023 G2’s 2023 Software Buyer Behavior Report examines the current state of software buying, based on results of an annual survey of 1,700+ global B2B software decision-makers. G2’s VP of APAC, Chris Perrine, dives into top trends among Asia Pacific software buyers this year. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/BuyerBehaviorReport2023-Regional-FeaturedImages_APAC.png
Chris Perrine Chris Perrine is a seasoned leader and entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the Asia Pacific region. Having co-founded Springboard Research and successfully exited to Forrester, he's also helped build IDC, ProductReview.com.au, as well as now leading G2's efforts in the region. https://learn.g2.com/hubfs/Chris.jpeg https://www.linkedin.com/in/chrisperrine