New research by Rimini Street indicates that while enterprises want a multi-vendor software architecture for their organisation, they struggle to manage the multiple support relationships they create. The new findings formed part of a Censuswide Buyers Sentiment Survey, “IT Leaders are Considering a New Support and Services Model.” The survey asked a sample of 608 US CIO and CTO respondents from organisations with over $250 million in revenue. This is the second part of the Rimini Street research, which Enterprise Times first highlighted here.
This second report consists of eight pages and highlights the difficulties faced by IT leaders. It consists of an executive summary, expands on the three key findings, and ends with a short conclusion. The report is a mix of data points, analysis, images, and data visualizations. While some of the data visualizations add little value, the report is quick to read and delivers a clear message.
While organisations may desire a hybrid software architecture to maximize the operational benefits of best-in-class solutions, there is a downside supporting them. IT teams face higher costs, inconsistent processes, and inconsistent levels of support across their software landscape.
David Rowe, EVP Global Transformation and Chief Product Officer Rimini Street, said, “Over the past decade, enterprises have deployed a growing number of enterprise software systems and supporting technologies to run their business. This has left them dependent on a tangled web of software vendors and service providers to support and manage these mission-critical systems.”
“The data illustrates that this system simply isn’t working for the enterprise customer. Without a concerted effort across the providers, it places greater responsibility on the IT leader to coordinate and manage the various systems and vendors. Today, there’s a better alternative: Consolidating support and services into a single strategic partner that prioritizes business success and works closely to help plan and execute a digital transformation roadmap that fits the company’s goals.”
The key findings
The report is broken down into three key findings:
- The Vendor support model is broken
- Why the vendor support model is broken
- The other dimension of the challenge is security
Fundamentally, an organization looking to support multiple pieces of software struggles. According to Statista, in 2022, the average organization was using 130 applications. Worryingly, the number has grown year over year, from only 8 in 2015. It is little wonder, therefore, that 72% of respondents feel the support and service model is inadequate. 62% felt there was a lack of accountability, and 46% faced a lack of expertise around applications. With so many applications in the enterprise, the contracting process and maintaining multiple supplier relationships is almost impossible.
When asked about the difficulties faced when trying to coordinate external IT support, managed services, security and/or professional services, respondents gave some fairly uniform if low answers. It is not clear whether they had the option to pick only a few or all, as the results seem low for the challenge faced.
The top five were the following:
- Different process per vendor – 36%
- High cost of several vendor contracts – 35%
- Too much effort selecting and managing vendors – 35%
- Different vendors blame each other – 34%
- Service handoffs lost between vendors – 29%
Underpinning the issue is the security issue, often ranked as one of the top priorities for CIOs; it adds further complexity to the support challenge. With so many different applications to support, organisations need to ensure that vulnerabilities are patched as soon as possible (31%). Respondents noted the challenge of balancing operational support with strategic priorities (30%) and keeping ahead of the new and different threats (30%).
Enterprise Times: What does this mean
The report concludes that organisations need to identify a strategic support partner. This brings consistency to support processes and the relationship. It moves the responsibility of support tasks to the managed services provided, but NOT the accountability. This is an important point that is often forgotten. CIOs should consider a relationship manager to ensure that both the internal teams and the MSP meet the obligations towards any SLA.
The report highlights the three top features that a strategic support partner should deliver.
- An integrated approach – 72%
- High-quality service with a human-first experience – 52%
- Object and personalised guidance – 37%
Where Rimini Street might have missed a trick is the increasing use of generative AI in customer support. This might have offered a slightly different answer if it wasn’t included in the possible responses. The report also misses a qualitative element, which might have provided further insights on this issue. AI bots are now offering the promise of faster responses to IT issues across different software platforms. There is little doubt that a human-in-the-loop is still required, but AI has much to offer. At some point, IT teams will expect an AI-first approach, with a break out to a human available. Perhaps the next piece of research?
Rimini Street offers a portfolio of services across multiple applications, including SAP, Salesforce and Oracle. It recently extended its support for Salesforce and introduced a support model for ClickSoftware users for the on-premise version, which is end of life.