No-one's told us how to do SRM say IT directors

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It’s little wonder supplier-customer relationships are such a mess as according to IT services firm house CMG around 95 per cent of IT directors don’t know how to manage their interaction with service providers. Lack of supplier management and negotiation training is causing rifts in outsourcing and managed services partnerships and ultimately impacting on the bottom line.

New research from CMG illustrates shows how the relationship between client and provider is key to a successful managed services strategy. Three quarters of IT decision-makers believe that finding a partner that understands their business is the main priority, while two thirds believe that a partner that is a good cultural fit is also critical for success.

So far, so good. But when IT directors were asked what help they had been given to help them achieve this, only 5% of respondents had received training in supplier management. As a result almost half of the decision-makers – 47 per cent - surveyed felt sceptical about the value of managed services.

"Many IT directors are not trained to manage an IT services partner effectively and therefore won’t beable to get the best from the partnership,” said Andrew Kouloumbrides, national director, managed services at CMG "Ultimately, this relationship is the responsibility of the service provider but buyers can benefit from training in how to get the best from an outsourcer. The complex nature of the relationship means that success will depend on how it’s run."

CMG recommends that training courses should cover contract negotiation, the
concept of shared risk and benefit, creating a positive working culture,
setting appropriate Service Level Agreements and deadlines as well as
motivation and people management. Refresher courses are also recommended
every six months for both sides to ensure that the commitment to succeed is
maintained.

IT decision-makers from 150 UK organisations with more than 500 employees
were questioned on outsourcing issues. The research was carried out by
Dynamic Markets on behalf of CMG.

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