by Byron Connolly

CIOs to vendors: Your service is average

Jul 11, 2017
CareersIT LeadershipIT Management

Many tech chiefs believe that the service provided to their organisations by IT vendors is average, according to new research.

CIO Australia’s 2017 State of the CIO survey asked more than 200 CIOs and other senior executives about their views on technology vendors in the marketplace with 55 per cent indicating that vendors are only providing ‘average service.’ A further 5 per cent rated the service provided by their vendors as poor.

Almost one-third (28 per cent) of respondents also said that vendors (including startups) were expensive and 15 per cent found them difficult to deal with.

A survey respondent and director of information management at a government department, said coming from a commercial background, he has worked with consultants who charge $250-$500 per hour to ‘make things happen.’

“They’re worth every cent they charge,” he said. “With the vendors I engage with, they are charging $180 to $200 per hour – in reality they are an $80 to $100 per hour person, if that. They put on these big prices but they don’t bring the skill levels that equate to the price.”

He said a supplier he engaged with failed to deliver on a brief that he clearly defined visually and in a document over 10 iterations.

“I said, ‘build me this.’ I went on leave and came back and they had built me something that didn’t reflect [the brief] and I had visually designed the interface that I wanted and what I got was nothing like it.”

The supplier then asked him for a further $3000 to change the product that was built.

“I said I’m an not interested in paying that because why should I pay for something that wasn’t right in the first place? But that was their expectation – that I would pay for them to convert their mistake into what I wanted,” he said.

“What was a $7000 job ended up costing about $25,000.”

But it’s not all bad news for technology suppliers. Almost half (44.86 per cent) said their vendors provided good service with 25.95 per cent indicating they were easy to deal with and 18.38 per cent saying they were cost-effective.

Meanwhile, Rick Coenen, CIO at retailer Sussan Group, said it’s tough to rate vendors because “we are in a so much more complex environment now”.

“In this digital age, we’ve lots of different partners and third parties that have to come together. So I think because of the complexity of this new world we live in, it is difficult. I would answer the way most people would – you get some partners that are fantastic to deal with and others are very average.

“It just depends on the vendor but again I think it’s got a lot to do with our vendors’ and partners’ ability to work together and work in more complex environments,” he said.

The full results from the 2017 State of the CIO survey will be published later this week.