IT departments are more satisfied with the services offered by IT service providers - but not hugely more satisifed - a major research project published in November is expected to reveal.
The survey, which assesses UK IT departments' satisfaction levels with IT service providers, is expected show that businesses believe that service providers have improved their quality of service over the past year.
But preliminary results suggest that as service providers offer better value for money, IT departments are becoming more demanding of higher quality and competitive prices.
"They are becoming more demanding: for a service provider to score well, and a user to be satisfied, they have to do more than they did a few years ago, so the bar is being raised, " said Stan Lepeak, director of global research.
EquaTerra's 2010 UK Service Provider Performance and Satisfaction Study will assess the views of over 200 organisations on their service providers, and the trends in organisaitons' outsourcing plans.
Take part in the research
If you manage IT outsourcing relationships for your organisation, Equaterra would like to invite you to participle in this year's study, a simple web based questionnaire that should take around 15 minutes to complete. In return for your participation you will receive a copy fo the results of the study as well as an invitation to an Equaterra Executive roundtable with your peers where the results will be presented. Email Equaterra Research to take part.
"Satisfaction levels are going up year by year but not by a lot, because buyers are getting more demanding," said Lepeak.
"While buyers desire things like transformation and innovation, the real focus is getting the most for the pound invested. They are not cutting suppliers any slack. That is going to continue for some time," he said.
As prices have fallen, organisations that signed outsourcing deals four or five years ago are finding themselves at a disadvantage.
"We are seeing some buyers stuck with deals that they are not happy with, but changing providers is not easy to do. Its easier said than done to re-price it or go with another provider," said Lepeak.
The research is expected to show that organisations rate service providers lower for flexibility and innovation than for cost and quality. But this reflects the priorities of the buyers.
"To some extent buyers who are dissatisfied with cost levels should realise that if you are always pushing on cost, you are going to have an impact on innovation," said Lepeak.
Despite protectionist pressures, the trend is for businesses to continue to push more work off shore to India or central Europe, early findings from Equaterra suggest.