Challenges in service delivery in the IT services sector

Information technology can give any business an edge when its implementation is well thought out and aligned to the core objectives. This appreciation has lead many organizations both large and small to seek out solutions that would provide the much needed business leverage. There is no shortage of solutions and service providers to choose from.

There are major challenges however when it comes to the day to day provision of services that I believe impact in a big way the perception of technology solutions that are provided locally. Customer satisfaction is a perpetual yo-yo, as service providers grapple with these challenges.

Overselling  is a common trend that often leads to a disgruntled or disappointed customer. The oversell may be in relation to solution capabilities  or the turnaround time from solution purchase to full live deployment. In the quest for more consumers, service providers may take on more than they can handle, or agree to the existence of certain features in a bid to seemingly provide a “perfect” solution.

Service availability ranks high among consumer disappointments when dealing with solution providers. With the push towards the adoption of cloud services, collocation of infrastructure and software as a service, many local service providers are having a hard time keeping up with their service level agreements due to factors both within and outside of their control. In other markets, it is not competitive advantage to offer 99.9% uptime. It is more of a default expectation with service providers investing heavily to ensure round the clock availability even through “scheduled maintenance” activities.

Customer service issues follow closely with the most common complaint being communication blackout. Consumer queries that  take too long to be resolved or at bare minimum attended to, lead to frustration. We have seen bigger players adopt more platforms to better address this issue but the call is more for a cross industry improvement of how this is handled.

While these three issues may not be exhaustive of the challenges encountered, we must apply high standards when it comes to the provision of technology based solutions. If we don’t,  we risk a migration of customers to offshore service providers who may have polished up on these elements.

An Africa based entrepreneur in the pursuit of opportunities without regard to resources currently controlled striving to build services that have real-world value for my beloved continent and beyond while having fun along the way.

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