Nearly 80% of UK small to medium sized (SME) businesses have a positive relationship with their IT suppliers, according to independent research by data centre and communications specialist, Node4. The survey of 250 IT decision makers in companies between 50-500 employees, revealed that 45% of SMEs are working closely together in a strategic relationship with their IT vendor and a further 34% agreed that their supplier totally understands their business and meets its needs.
This suggests IT suppliers are now becoming more focused on the real needs of their customers, helping SMEs to get the most out of the latest technologies. Half of those SMEs interviewed regularly update their IT infrastructure to take advantage of new technologies and 57% are already making use of at least some cloud services in their business.
Although these findings are in sharp relief to many people’s perception of IT suppliers, there are lingering complaints. Nearly 1 in 5 SMEs felt that vendors recommend solutions that are not fit for purpose and 13% said suppliers continue to use confusing jargon. 14% said their IT suppliers are unreliable, and nearly 1 in 10 felt that their suppliers were just after their money.
“I think we can see that the IT industry and the channel has come a long way when it comes to customer service, and now the vast majority of SMEs have a much more positive experience in dealing with IT suppliers today,” commented Paul Bryce, Business Development Director, Node4.
“Everyone wins when the focus is on developing long term relationships with customers, and really getting to grips with how technology can help businesses overcome the specific challenges that face them. The IT industry has managed to get itself a bit of a bad name for pushing solutions that customers really don’t need, so there is still much more that can be done to improve customer service. However, technology like cloud services provides far more flexibility than ever before to meet the challenges businesses face in a very tailored way, and the continued rise of the cloud is good news for everyone in the IT sector.”