myBrand’s research into the secret behind successful IT partnerships shows that IT partners do not speak customers’ language enough

Guest author: Linda Beukers, Director Digital Transformation Services at myBrand

Our world is becoming more and more unpredictable, which means that companies need to be able to adapt more quickly to changing situations. This requires a flexible, fast-moving IT landscape. Here’s why more and more SMEs are now in a hurry with their digital transformation. This means that the collaboration with their ICT partner (s) is becoming more and more crucial to their own success. What does this mean for ICT partnerships? And where can one make money?

With that question in mind, myBrand, an IT service provider and knowledge partner specializing in SAP and OutSystems, commissioned a study of the Market Effect of how companies view IT partnerships. The conclusion is quite shocking. Because knowledge of the sector and knowledge of the domain in which the software is used are the two most important selection criteria on which companies select their ICT partners, almost half of the respondents believe that their current partner (s) do not perform adequately. this.

The desire is for IT partners to think at the business level

The number of ICT partners that companies work with depends to a large extent on their size. And the demands they make on different types of partners are a little different. As a customer, you have slightly different expectations for a software implementation partner than for a telecommunications provider. However, because smaller companies often outsource all of their ICT services to a single partner, the study did not distinguish between different types of partnerships.

Overall, SMEs consider industry knowledge and knowledge of the domain in which the solution is implemented to be most important. Other criteria that play a role are reliability, expertise, problem-solving ability and having a long-term vision. All of this translates into the desire for IT partners to think at a strategic level about business operations, and that they can translate business challenges into a digital strategy.

Nearly half of the IT partners are inadequately in line with the organization

In practice, this turns out to be a bad thing. Customers are reasonably satisfied with the IT companies’ vision: 79 percent believe that the partner is able to present a clear roadmap, and 77 percent believe that the current implementation partner translates the business challenges well into IT solutions. But things go wrong once these solutions are implemented in practice. For no less than 47 percent of the more than 500 respondents believe that the current IT partner or partners are too aware of the technology. They are not involved enough in the processes on the store floor and the people who work in that process. 44 percent also believe that IT partner (s) speak too much IT language and too little business language. 42% even believe that the partner (s) simply lack business vision.

Although not always well-established contractually, four out of five respondents expect the implementation partner to also play a role in the change process that comes with an implementation. They expect the partner to make an effort to increase adoption. Precisely because too few concrete agreements have been made in advance, no less than 57 percent are disappointed with the efforts in this area.

Advice

Businesses are increasingly realizing that they are becoming more and more dependent on ICT for their own success. Therefore, they expect ICT partners to function as an extension of their own organization. However, this has not yet been translated into RFP. For the price is still at the top in 81 percent of cases. Therefore, it may not be so strange that companies come home from a cold trade show. Do you want to avoid choosing an IT partner who is not aware enough of your organization, your business processes and your specific challenges? Then pay more attention to the selection process and move the criteria from price to conditions such as business knowledge and behavior.

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