How would you rate your company’s relationships with its IT vendors? If you’re like most of the respondents in this recent survey, they probably need some work.
Satisfaction with IT vendors is dropping from already low numbers, according to a recent report from the Temkin Group, “Tech Vendors: Benchmarking Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients, 2013.”
For the report, Temkin surveyed 802 IT professionals to gather their thoughts about 54 different vendors. In this year’s survey, average scores dropped in each category compared to last year’s results.
In fact, none of the eight categories looked at in the survey had average satisfaction rates higher than 50%. Those categories were:
- the company’s innovation (50% satisfaction)
- product features (48%)
- product quality (48%)
- products’ ease of use (47%)
- technical support (47%)
- product flexibility (45%)
- support from the vendor’s account team (45%), and
- cost of ownership (41%).
Individual vendors also didn’t fare too well. The highest average score across all categories was 64%, while the lowest was 20%.
The top vendors, as rated by the survey respondents:
- VMware (64%)
- Microsoft severs (62%)
- SAP analytics (61%)
- IBM SPSS (59%)
- Intel (59%)
- Apple (58%)
- Microsoft business applications (58%)
- Microsoft desktop software (57%)
- Google (57%)
- Cisco (57%)
- Deloitte consulting (20%)
- Trend Micro (27%)
- Fujitsu (30%)
- Tata Consulting Services (30%)
- Infosys IT services (30%)
- Computer Sciences Corporation IT services (31%)
- Pitney Bowes (32%)
- McAfee (34%)
- Novell (34%)
- Hitachi (35%)
What can IT managers do?
As you can see from those lists, providers offering outsourced IT services or consulting services are the most likely to have dissatisfied customers. One explanation for that is that it’s more critical for those vendors to understand the unique needs of their customers, and it’s more important to have open communication between the organization and the vendor.
According to the Temkin Group’s Bruce Temkin in an interview with TechRepublic, IT departments should also be doing more to push their vendors to offer better customer service. While IT typically knows what it needs in terms of a product, satisfaction levels tend to be lower in categories focusing on the relationship with the vendor.
IT could likely land more satisfactory arrangements by pushing vendors to provide more in terms of service and support.