With a new year upon us, it’s pretty common for people to set personal and professional goals to be successful in the coming months. It’s no different for businesses – many of whom find themselves evaluating their digital transformation plans and setting strategies to remain competitive and profitable in 2019. As part of that process, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the challenges faced in 2018 and what, if any, progress was made against them.

Cogeco Peer 1 recently asked 150 IT decision-makers across several industries about their key challenges in 2018 – specifically digging into the real value of service and the extent to which technology can liberate or restrict a business. As important as it is to analyze if your technology and infrastructure are optimally supporting your business, it is equally vital to assess the value of service that you’re receiving as you head into the new year.

The study revealed four key areas IT leaders expect their service providers should excel in: (Download the full study here).

Good Customer Service: It seems when it comes to what B2B decision-makers look for in an IT vendor, good customer service tops the list. And, fully 95% of respondents noted this is an area of improvement for their current IT vendors.

In fact, the research revealed that only 14% of respondents were satisfied with the current service that they receive. No vendor is perfect and unexpected issues will occur at times but how these problems are addressed builds trust and loyalty. It’s the difference between a customer sticking around or jumping ship to the competition.

Business Agility: An organization’s ability to easily adapt to market changes, technology advances and customer demands can be the difference between success and failure. Therefore, it’s imperative to have the right IT support in place to remain competitive. However, three in five IT decision-makers said their IT vendors could be doing more to help them to be more agile and 21% state that their IT vendors do not help their business in this area at all.

Flexible Solutions: The majority of IT decision-makers polled pointed to issues with IT vendors hindering their organization’s ability to evolve or make changes to systems due to a lack of flexibility within the IT infrastructure. 85% indicated that their organization would see faster growth if their IT vendor were less restrictive. Furthermore, a stunning 84% believe their organization is not currently running the optimum IT system.

Reliable Technology: 81% said that they have been let down by the IT that they have adopted in the past when it has not lived up to expectations, with almost half (48%) stating that this has happened on multiple occasions. The most common reasons for this are reliability issues (65%) and not receiving the required service (57%). The result? 52% say that higher costs are the outcome of implementing technologies that didn’t quite meet organizational needs.

Taking the research as a whole, it seems that good customer service is often sacrificed in favor of competitive pricing and new products. As more and more businesses embrace a digital-first mindset in an increasingly competitive arena, they’re finding that the service they’re receiving isn’t living up to either their expectations, or their business’ needs. Some large providers even neglect their customers, taking them for granted and treating them like a commodity.

In the event that trouble strikes – say a data breach or service outage – having dedicated technical account managers, fast-turnaround on enquiries and 24/7 support can make a huge difference to the success of your business.

To set your business up for success in 2019, it is important that you ask these questions:

  1. What does your business consider to be the real value of IT service?
  2. Is your current IT Services Provider invested in the kind of partnership that will ultimately power your potential?
  3. How supported does your business feel during this time of rapid change in the technology industry?
  4. To what extent do system and infrastructure restrictions prevent your business from achieving set goals?

Speaking for Cogeco Peer 1, our approach is to partner with our customers to offer hybrid solutions that make sense for their business needs – whether that be cloud, multi-cloud, bare metal, hosting, colocation, on-premise or some combination of those.
Curious to see how your experience stacks up against those we studied? Check out the full report.

If you’re looking for a trusted IT partner who can commit to a consultative relationship and offer real value of service, reach out to us and our expert team will be happy to assist you.