Business needs for IT services are changing and will continue to evolve. Initially, IT was often considered an overhead expenditure, and investment decisions typically revolved around products and price points. Over the past decade, however, this mindset has shifted as IT products and services have become value-added solutions that can improve business efficiency. In short, companies are thinking about IT services more strategically and demanding increased value from their investments.
There are pros and cons to this paradigm shift. This uptick in demand for better IT solutions has driven many new, innovative products to the market. However, with more available products comes more complexity when it’s time to differentiate solutions. All in all, this shift in perception is affecting the industry from top to bottom.
The Emergence of SD-WAN
SD-WAN is a great example of the pros of this paradigm shift. Due to the lower costs, reliability and security SD-WAN provides, many companies initially viewed this service as necessary overhead — simply choosing the most affordable option without giving quality or specifics of service much consideration. However, as more companies discover the long-term benefits of IT investments, SD-WAN offerings are increasingly more robust and becoming an invaluable asset for businesses looking to maximize their IT spend.
More Demand, More Complexity
One of the major cons of this paradigm shift is the number of IT services on the market. To meet the skyrocketing demand, more providers are inflating the supply. Additionally, it’s not uncommon to see some providers market their services unethically to capitalize on the demand, misdirecting potential clients about the solutions they offer. This means navigating providers and differentiating their services is growing more and more complex. It has become critical to have a holistic understanding of the IT goals a company is looking to accomplish before choosing a specific solution.
Better Services on the Horizon
This evolution in IT demand is pushing service providers to continue innovating their solution offerings; if they fail to do so, they can quickly become irrelevant. Consider Avaya recently filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The legacy hardware provider was challenged to meet the demand of a market that was shifting toward increased value through cloud-based services and folded under the pressures of these new market trends. Service providers that differentiate themselves by providing new or more robust service sets have a better chance of remaining relevant over time. And, service providers that deliver the highest value possible, rather than simply fulfill a market need, will continue to forge lasting relationships with businesses.
For more insight into maximizing value from your network investments, check out this blog post highlighting three considerations for your data center environment.