Businesses Prefer Vendor Neutral, Low-Cost IT Providers

Businesses prefer vendor-neutral IT service providers that can offer competitive costs over providers that can provide advanced solutions and/or are specialists with any one vendor, according to new data from Chadwick Martin Bailey.

The research firm polled 145 IT decision makers from U.S.-based organizations, asking them to rank on a 0-10 scale their preferences for vendor-neutral vs. vendor-specific providers. The mean score was 4.5. With a ranking of 0-3, 31 percent expressed a preference for vendor-neutrality; 19 percent preferred vendor-specialization with rankings of 8-10. The remaining 50 percent fell between 3-8.

On the question of specialized versus one-stop shops, the mean score was 5/2. Only 22 percent clearly preferred specialized providers (0-2 ranking) and only 23 percent preferred one-stop shops (8-10 ranking). The balance (54 percent) fell in the midrange (2-8).

On the question of lowest cost vs. most advanced solutions, the mean score was 4.7. Twenty-one percent preferred the lowest cost provider (0-2 ranking) and 14 percent preferred the most advanced solution (9-10). The balance (64 percent) fell in the mid range.

Separately, CMB found organizations want large IT service providers, but also ones that are locally based. Large companies (1000-plus employees), in particular, want large service providers that have the scope and reach to meet their goals, CMB’s poll found. “But even they require a locally-based presence from providers for face-to-face interaction and so that provider technicians can get on-side quickly if need be,” the research firm noted.

Again, using the 0-10 scale, locally-based providers were preferred by 30 percent who offered rankings of 0-3. Regional or national providers were preferred by 24 percent with rankings of 8-10. The rest (46 percent) were in the mid-range (3-8). The mean score was 4.8.

On the question of large providers vs. small ones, the survey found that only 10 percent preferred small providers (0-1 ranking) while 26 percent preferred a large shop (8-10 ranking). The rest (64 percent) were in the mid-range. The mean score was 5.8.

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