Given their poor track record, it’s no surprise that end-users are becoming cautious of IT vendors’ promises. As a result, vendors must drop aloof attitudes to customer implementation. They need to get their hands dirty, or see their customers go elsewhere. End-users and systems integrators (SIs) need long-term partners, not just vendors.
New research reveals that a third of European eBusiness projects fail to meet forecasts.
Datamonitor’s new report, eBusiness implementation: promises versus reality, reveals that at least a third of all primary eBusiness projects implemented in the last 12-18 months failed to meet their initial time or cost forecast.
While end-users suffer from this in the short term, IT vendors are also storing up long-term problems for themselves: consumers are getting increasingly cautious of their promises. Previous relationship with a vendor is behind only cost and functionality on end-users’ lists of selection criteria – so maintaining strong working relationships with clients is vital for success.
At present, while customers are comparatively happy with software products themselves, they feel vendors are poor at support and at collaborating and communicating. Systems integrators (SIs) and end-users alike feel there is a general lack of liaison and responsiveness, proactivity and flexibility.
As more mid-sized enterprises move into eBusiness and as software gets increasingly specialized, end-users increasingly need SIs’ advice in selecting a vendor. This clearly makes it vital for vendors to develop stronger working relationships with SIs.
While the temptation to neglect customer and SI support to save money is higher in these tough times, it must be avoided. When the economy picks up again, the ability to collaborate and provide adequate support to their implementation partners and end-users will become a key differentiator between vendors.
Software vendors and SIs should prepare to see their product and service performance judged more closely, as end-users gain more experience in eBusiness implementations and sharpening their expectations.
In this new market, vendors will need to be far more honest about the ‘reality’ of products and implementations. They will also have to be clearer in communication, better understanding of end-users’ needs, clearer about the involvement of their services arm, open about new pricing models, and ready to share risks and rewards.