Frequently wrong decisions in the selection of IT partners


Almost every second company regularly regrets individual decisions in their selection of IT partners. In an Actinium study, one in ten of the business and IT managers surveyed stated that they had subsequently regretted more than one in five decisions in the last two years. Largely without such experiences are only 19 percent of them.

Sixty percent of firms cite that market evaluations were not conducted in the required manner or could not be conducted as the primary cause of poor decisions. A similar number (64 percent) also identified inadequately defined requirements profiles. In addition, many respondents feel that their decisions were misguided by excessive vendor performance promises. For 53 percent, however, the problems also resulted from their own misjudgments regarding product or service quality among their chosen solution partners.

According to the study, product and vendor research is often a difficult undertaking, according to two-thirds of users. To the larger problem belongs despite the today’s information possibilities over electronic media thereby to find such offerers out precisely, who come with their solution authority for the own requirements into question. According to 59 percent of the companies surveyed, this market research as the basis for the further selection process regularly causes considerable challenges. Even more (69 percent) struggle when benchmarking the potentially interesting solutions and services, according to the Actinium survey. But also the comparative evaluation of the expected project quality as well as performance of the providers constantly poses difficulties for 63 and 60 percent, respectively. In contrast, users apparently have significantly fewer problems when comparing costs (54 percent).

Despite these disadvantages, the Internet represents the lesser of two evils for users and plays by far the largest role in market evaluation. It is included by 74 percent in their research. In contrast, visits to trade shows and trade events are much less important and are carried out by one in two. It is even rarer for decision-makers to look specifically at trade journals for market offerings or to rely on analyst studies. In contrast, at 41 percent, a comparatively large number of companies are guided by information obtained by independently approaching suppliers.

Actinium CEO Klaus Hüttl sees a core problem of the regular dissatisfaction with vendor decisions, however, primarily in the fact that product-related market evaluation is not one of the core competencies of those responsible for business and IT. “A vendor selection is made permanently, but in each case on very different topics. Anyone looking for a business intelligence solution, for example, can usually draw on little experience and market knowledge when it comes to market evaluation, because a last decision in this regard typically dates back several years.” This means that, in a sense, new ground is always being broken because the relevant vendor market may have changed significantly in the meantime. “But there is no chance of a learning curve in the process, which is why it is advisable to bring in experienced expertise for the market evaluation,” judges Hüttl.