Article Service Provider, Do Your Customers Know Your Value?
By Insight UK / 20 Jun 2022
By Insight UK / 20 Jun 2022
The advent of the cloud has completely changed the role of IT in business. Just keeping the lights on is no longer enough; technology must add value to the business and has become a determining factor for success. As a service provider, your company is in the midst of this mega-shift. What does this mean for your value proposition and the way your customers perceive your value?
As an IT service provider, you have been the perfect butler for your customers for decades. Almost silently, you ensured that their IT environment was running smoothly. You were there when it was needed, according to SLAs based on price and response times, but otherwise quietly in the background, without bragging. At best, your customer knew what services you provided – infrastructure, networking, security – but had no explicit idea of their value to the business. IT used to be the reliable enabler and operational manager of technology.
But that has changed. The cloud offers so many possibilities and is so ubiquitous that IT has increasingly become a C-level priority. IT is therefore no longer a supporting process, but much more a valuable driver for business innovation, strategic decision-making and future success. The most important question for your customers is no longer what service or product they bring to the market, but what value they are able to deliver. How do they remain attractive to their customers, meet their needs? To do so they need to find new ways forward!
What applies to your customers equally applies to you as a service provider. To distinguish yourself from your competitors, it is no longer about how your solutions work, but about what value you can add to your customer's business. This means that likewise, your proposition should be oriented towards value and customers instead of products or services. There is work to be done. How do you formulate your unique value and how do you communicate that to your customers to make you irreplaceable?
True, it may take some adjusting if you have always worked as a pure service provider. Moreover, 'value' is a subjective concept and different for everyone. But isn't it true that every service has its own value for every customer? With a different focus, you will soon develop a new view on service provision – from operations-driven to value-driven – and make value tangible for each customer. Some examples? The value of monitoring services is in uptime and reachability, backup & recovery ensures business continuity, and firewalls and multi-factor authentication prevent cyberattacks and data loss.
Once you have developed this mindset, you can demonstrate value to your customers. SPs are masters of monitoring and management and from them come the most diverse reports, overviews and analytics for availability, performance, trends, problems and so on. They are full of valuable information and insights that help your customers determine their business direction. However, they do not have the 'IT eyes' to interpret the reports in this way, but you do. So, plan regular reviews, explain what your customer sees and how your work adds ongoing value to their business.
Today, it is no longer the transaction that distinguishes you from your competitors, but the relationship you build. If you want to add lasting value to your customers' business, you need to know what moves them. Customers change, develop new products or services, explore new markets. By engaging in a dialogue, you are involved in strategic decisions much earlier and you can respond to changes proactively – and therefore much faster. This strengthens customer relations and keeps competitors away.
It is time to quit buttling and start showing your added value to your customers' business with verve. This will make you all better off in the future.
At Insight, we help service providers realize their business ambitions in a multi-cloud world and find new ways forward in a fast changing world. As a multi-vendor software licensing, workload, and cloud platform specialist, we can guide you through all stages of your strategic cloud journey. We help you set up subscription-based services and accelerate your business no matter where you are in your journey. Contact one of our cloud specialists for a talk.