Your future technology plans should be about your company’s business strategy, not your vendor’s.
IT solutions are designed and marketed to provide value right out of the box, but their performance and capabilities diminish over time.
That’s the nature of technology.
Tech evolves at lightning speed, and today’s solutions can’t keep up indefinitely.
No organization can afford endless upgrades, so to gain as much value from IT solutions as possible, it’s imperative that companies invest in ongoing maintenance and support. Many organizations opt to contract with the same provider that sold them the product and licenses.
Some even believe this is their only choice.
But when companies become dependent on a single IT vendor to power their operations, the cost, complexity, and potential disruption of leaving that provider can become too much for many organizations to undertake.
And that’s when the problems start.
Issues with vendor-driven roadmaps
Companies that stay locked in vendor contracts often struggle to advance their digital agendas.
When megavendors make decisions about product longevity, upgrade frequency, and price changes with no customer input, the customer loses control.
There are several functional and financial issues that stand in the way of developing and implementing a future-focused IT strategy. Some of them include the following:
End of support. As megavendors phase out software support for older versions, customers are forced to perform costly and time-consuming upgrades just to retain a minimal level of support. For example, companies that don’t pay into an upgrade cycle cannot log a ticket on the IBM software version that’s not currently supported. This places your company and your systems at risk.
No innovation. Paying more for maintenance fees doesn’t guarantee innovation. Since most megavendor R&D is focused on new platforms, releases, and acquisitions, there’s little incentive for them to improve existing solutions. Their current customers are already locked into their solutions, which reduces their risk of customer churn, so why should they bother?
Forced upgrades and migrations. Megavendors want their customers to continuously migrate to the latest platforms and releases, often at significant cost in time and resources with very little return on investment.
Poor support for the price. Despite paying expensive annual support fees, which are often priced at 22% of license fees plus annual increases, customers get poorly rated service that is also missing important support features. Most megavendors have no fixed SLAs. There are many stories of customers waiting days, sometimes even weeks or months, for fixes.
If you’ve experienced any or all of these constraints, you’ve lost control of your IT roadmap.
Creating a business-driven roadmap
If a vendor-driven IT model is limiting your performance and hindering your digital acceleration, it’s time to get back into the driver’s seat.
Business-driven roadmaps align tech investments with your company’s business goals, priorities, resources, and timing, not with what the megavendor mandates. They are multiyear plans that focus on translating your business strategy into tech initiatives that enable the organization to achieve its overall goals.
Working with a third-party software maintenance company can deliver the agility you’re looking for.
Third-party software maintenance providers work with each client to develop customized strategies of transitioning out of high-priced megavendor service agreements.
Individual services are gradually moved away from legacy solutions, which frees up your budget to support investments that enhance your own IT roadmap.
This also allows overall spending to shift from ongoing operations and maintenance to shifting more resources toward business innovation and accelerating your digital agenda.
Questions to consider
Our latest e-book, “Driving Digital Innovation: A Healthy Skeptic’s Road to Optimizing Technology,” discusses how to optimize current technology and foster innovation while also reducing costs. It also contains practical questions to help you evaluate your software maintenance contracts to ensure you are the one driving your IT roadmap, not the megavendors.