A recent publication by Gartner focuses on the challenges global companies face when selecting an infrastructure service provider. They describe them as the following:
- Most enterprises’ contracts are based on statements of work that are 3 to 5 years old and, as such, are obsolete.
- It’s very difficult to write the statement of work that will deliver the right services in three to five years’ time.
- The traditional RFI/RFP-based selection process is simply too long for digital time to market and IT leaders must reduce the selection and negotiation time from months to weeks.
- All providers promise to deliver best services in their sales pitches and IT leaders don’t have enough information to dissipate hype, leading to risk of selecting the wrong provider.
When faced with these challenges, Gartner recommends the following:
- Identify critical success factors for their deal by defining scope and measurable business objectives of each initiative or service area.
- Use these CSFs to select the providers that excel within that scope and demonstrated success with the critical factors.
- Further shortlist the most credible two to five service providers by leveraging the “voice of the customer” scores and the providers’ comparative industrial performances provided.
Gartner highlights that enterprises need speed and low risk when selecting providers and negotiating services contracts. Rather than taking 90 days, they need to be able to shortlist in 90 minutes and Gartner has a toolset to support making decisions more quickly.
As mentioned, Gartner is talking about the challenges global companies face. However, there are some transferable points when we consider the challenges from the mid-market’s perspective. These are:
- It’s very difficult to define now what the right services will be in three to five years’ time.
- The traditional RFI/RFP-based selection process is simply too long for digital time to market.
- All providers promise to deliver the best services in their sales pitches
When looking at the options available, we would recommend working with a service provider that can deliver a solution that can flexibly and speedily respond to your necessarily changing requirements. One that has experience, case studies, reference sites, broad technical coverage and ability to demonstrate an understanding of business objectives and delivery of an IT platform that can help a business transform and solve business challenges. You don’t need to specify what your world will be like in three years’ time in a fully scoped RFI/RFP, you need to find a service provider who can help you get their iteratively with the ability to understand your business and help you define what you need.
Getting to a shortlist in 90 minutes seems a tough ask but having a small number of open conversations with potential providers, early on in your decision making when you haven’t yet defined a specification, may be a sensible investment of time.
How to Select Your Global IT Infrastructure Service Provider in 90 Minutes Instead of 90 Days