IT service providers are pushing too hard to sell extra services

IT services firms are not prioritising the services they are contracted to provide because they are too busy trying to sell additional services on top

IT services firms are not prioritising the services they are contracted to provide because they are too busy trying to sell additional services on top, according to UK IT departments.

A global study of 1,300 IT departments and almost 700 IT service providers, carried out by LogicNow, revealed that in the UK there is a misalignment between service provider priorities and customer needs.

In the UK, 67% of IT service providers want a more strategically focused customer relationship, but only 9% of IT departments feel the same, according to LogicNow’s Global IT service providers harmony report.

It is not surprising that suppliers want to drive sales and businesses want what they paid for, but the fact IT services providers are too focused on selling more could lead to problems with the services they are contracted to provide.

“IT departments initially reach out to IT service providers to help tackle an immediate, business-critical need. But in response, many IT service providers immediately try to offer a wider, more consultative service – prioritising this above addressing the immediate requirement," said the report.

"Considering IT departments rank the provision of CIO consultancy at the very bottom of their priorities, this is an area of huge potential frustration for IT service providers’ customers,” the report added.

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This problem is particularly evident in security oustourcing. The research showed IT departments are most keen to see better email security, better web protection and better antivirus, but IT service providers are planning on prioritising security consultancy and offering more proactive system updates and patching.

LogicNow general manager Alistair Forbes said IT departments will benefit from proactive support rather than service providers simply reacting when things go wrong, but suppliers should not push extra services until a relationship is established. 

“Our report clearly shows that IT service providers need to be patient in their pursuit of this model and choose their timing carefully," he said.

"Pushing strategic consultancy too early in the relationship gives an impression of undervaluing the immediate concern weighing heaviest on the customer’s mind. IT departments engage with service providers because they have a particular problem that needs solving. This must be addressed first to earn the opportunity of a strategic engagement later on.”

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