IT Directors generally think service providers are rubbish

IT directors aren’t impressed with the service they receive from their third party IT service providers, research has found.

The survey carried out by research company Winmark for  eTask Technologies Ltd found that IT directors scored their service providers less than 5 out of 10 when asked the question: “In general in the last three years, how would you rate your third party IT service providers in IT consulting projects?”

The average score for this question was 4.9 out of 10. It was lower than the 5.1 average score IT Directors gave when asked what they would rate their IT provider for software development provision.  Directors also didn’t hold back when asked if they had been particularly satisfied or particularly disappointed in the services they received, with 68 percent saying they were particularly disappointed for robust processes and 65 percent for remote access services.

IT directors also commented on “internal issues with the service provider” and that “there was a failure to keep us informed at an early stage” while another expressed annoyance that “they were not geared up to the needs of my business.”

Alex Wright, researcher at Winmark, said: “These figures are very worrying. In the services industry we would typically expect figures to be at about 8 out of 10. To be around, or even lower, than the 5 mark suggests that IT services providers have got a long way to go to deliver the value that IT directors are looking for.”

However IT service companies are completely oblivious to the problems. When they were asked about their relationship with IT directors, they rated their overall experience of dealing with them at an average of 6.6 for understanding issues faced by the third parties themselves, through to 7.2 for strategic direction.

They also scored IT Directors 6.7 for availability and 7.1 for the provision of a clear brief.

That said,  third party suppliers do have some issues with IT directors. One area picked up by Winmark’s Wright was the poor scoring for strategic direction: 60 percent of service providers scored seven or less when asked about the quality of strategic direction. The company said when “considering that any score below 7 out of 10 translates pretty much to ‘ok’ at best then this would suggest that IT directors still have a long way to go before they are seen as strategic in the way that many of them would like.”

Communication was another critical area with service providers making comments like: “they know what they want but it’s hard to get hold of them and get them to move things forward“ and that “they haven’t really understood what they really wanted to achieve from the project.”