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IT service providers are the first port of call for IT departments when a business-critical issue arises but are misaligned with their customers’ needs

LogicNow has published the results of its Global IT Service Providers Harmony Report, an annual healthcheck of the global IT Service Management market. Rather than find Harmony between IT service providers and their customers, the ‘compare and contrast’ survey found a concerning level of Discord between what customers need and expect, and what IT service providers are delivering.

LogicNow surveyed over 1,300 IT departments and almost 700 IT service providers across eight geographies: North America, UK, Germany, Italy, Brazil, Benelux, France and Australia and New Zealand, in order to gain an understanding of market needs across the globe, and if they were being met.

Key findings:

IT service providers’ offerings fail to match IT departments’ priorities

The research showed that 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 – prioritizing this above addressing the immediate requirement. 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.

A misunderstanding of relationships

The research found a substantial disconnect between IT service providers and IT departments in how their relationships should evolve. 64 percent of IT service providers were keen for their customer relationships to move towards greater strategic consultancy – keen to offer wider, more diverse knowledge-based services. But only 13 percent of IT departments felt the same, with the remainder split evenly between wanting no change at all, and actually wanting more focus on tactical, technical IT support instead.

Future of managed security service provision flawed

Asked where managed security offerings should improve, IT departments are most keen to see better email security; better web protection; and better anti-virus. IT service providers on the other hand are planning on prioritizing security consultancy and offering more proactive system updates and patching – both indicative of the misalignment in the relationship mentioned above. Indeed, IT departments ranked both of these ‘improvements’ to the managed security offering towards the bottom of their priorities.

Unfriendly pricing structures

76 percent of IT departments want to pay for managed security services with a single invoice on either a monthly, quarterly or annual basis that encompass all the charges for all their IT security needs: technology licences and associated services combined. Concerningly, 49 percent of IT service providers are invoicing in exactly the wrong way (invoicing for every technology individually, or on an ad hoc basis) – and even worse, 66 percent are deliberately not planning to change their invoicing processes in the next 12 months.

The full 'Global IT Service Providers Harmony Report' is available for download here.



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