When things go wrong – where do you go?
In our recent ‘Moments that Matter’ research, we asked IT professionals in the UK, France and Germany to share their views of their career defining moments. What became clear was how they responded to a crisis could make or break a CIO’s career.
In most cases, the vast majority believed their ability to excel during critical points in their business calendar was even more important than ongoing business-as-usual activity. They also believed their career success was defined by such key moments.
When asked to grade these external events, natural disasters and major outages presented the biggest risk personally to IT decision makers, but managing infrastructure change was also a key concern. It was also interesting to see where the IT professional looked for help in these big moments. The skill and ability of internal IT teams and personal experience were considered the most important factors by IT professionals in mitigating risk. However, a significant minority relied and trusted the experience of their service provider.
The relationship with the service provider was one that demonstrated a contradictory view. On the one hand, IT professionals felt it was an important relationship, but also it was one of the most challenging. They expected a great deal of integrity from their suppliers – 80% expect their suppliers to be open and honest and hold to that view even when they are proved wrong. They also expected great expertise – 78% see their current suppliers as a source for technical innovation. However, IT Professionals still don’t instinctively go to service providers when faced with a crisis.
There is evidence of a shift in this relationship, with a large majority believing the business is more concerned with the customer experience delivered by their key service providers than it was a year ago – and IT professionals are beginning to react accordingly. So much so, that 82% believe the products and services provided by technology partners ‘working the way they expect’ is more important than price.
And as far as customer-supplier relationships based on contracts and SLAs are concerned – 76% believe supplier trust is the most important element in ensuring successful outcomes – with only 14% rating SLAs as the most effective trigger in responding to exceptional circumstances.
As shown in our tech deficit research last year, CIOs are recognising that the IT department can no longer do it all, so reliance on external service providers is of growing importance. However, there still seems a lag between the old and the new attitudes – building the relationship with service providers is becoming both more important and, at the same time, ever more challenging.