As an IT solution provider, do your clients see your products and services as cost or an investment?
The answer to this question can mean the difference between a supplier being forced to compete on price in an already cutthroat business vs a Business Partner having no competitors at all.
The Great Technical Chasm
Currently there is a great chasm of technical understanding that often gets lost in translation between technology suppliers and industrial clients. The supplier is often up to date on the latest technology and their potential benefits. While industrial client focus on their core business and competitive landscape. For most clients, the benefits of technology are seldom fully understood.
Cost vs Investment
Compare how clients view a cost vs an investment, these are often 2 different sets of budget with different levels of priority. OPEX and CAPEX are scrutinized every year and fall under the realm of operational managers with limited decision making authority. Whereas strategic investments often have much higher budgets and fall under the realm of the top decision makers.
Supplier vs Business Partner
During the last 15 years, I've turned around multiple business programs for technology suppliers. And the common theme has been to shift focus away from technology to helping clients not only achieve but exceed their business goals. This often required challenging the clients' current operations and guiding them in making significant organizational and process change.
IT Solution Providers need to transform themselves before they can help clients do the same. And it starts with a cultural shift from the top in changing the focus away from technology to helping clients achieve and exceed their business goals.