Getting Closer to Customers: Trends and Strategies in IT Services
“A discussion of industry changes that have spurred the growth and
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evolution of IT services, as well as survival strategies that can help both young and established IT
services organizations evaluate their services group, define a new vision, and set new goals.
Over the past decade, the IT industry has seen dramatic transformations in business models, technologies, customer demands, and skill sets. As these changes continue, many companies are evaluating their ability to offer their customers consulting, training, and technical support services required to meet new business and market demands. This scrutiny is necessary to ensure that the assumptions and methodologies applied in the services business area enable these companies to properly adapt and deliver value and results. In addition, a major trend today is that customers are viewing widely applicable technologies as commodities. They see little differentiation among different vendors’ products for certain hardware (e.g., servers, PCs), software (desktop, database), and networking gear (bridges, routers), and price often becomes the main negotiating point and drives the buying decision. Vendors recognize that their true value add, however, is focused IT services, and they are leveraging these to gain a strong competitive advantage in the crowded software marketplace.
I begin this article by taking a look at how industry changes during the past ten years have spurred the growth and evolution of IT services. I will then offer survival strategies that can help both young and established IT services organizations evaluate their services group, define a new vision, and set new goals. Businesses that are searching for new products and service providers can also use these suggestions to understand and evaluate different companies’ approaches.”
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