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Brands that use in-house IT teams to implement technology have poor outcomes

In an era where brands are finally getting more pragmatic in their digital pursuits, organizations must be conscious that pragmatism should not lead to corner-cutting, especially when it comes to technology implementations. According to over 1,000 respondents to our VOCalis Voice of Customer surveyproject failure rates are highest when brands turn to their in-house IT teams to implement their enterprise technologies rather than hiring a digital services partner (agency, systems integrator, etc). Technology implementations are hard, and picking the right digital partner to help is absolutely critical (that’s why we created this site!). Not only does the implementer have to understand your organization and industry vertical, which in-house IT teams certainly do, but they must also be fluent in both the technology as well as the various competencies required to achieve the brand’s strategy. Oftentimes, these latter two disqualify most in-house IT teams, but these necessities are either overlooked, undervalued, or under-budgeted.

In our analysis of our VOCalis data, we look for patterns that correlate with outcomes. We capture Net Promoter Scores (NPS) of both the technologies and the implementers, and we calculate proprietary VOCalis customer satisfaction scores on all submissions based on the customers’ answers to a comprehensive set of questions. In a recent analysis, we discovered:

  • In-House IT teams have an NPS score of -60 (on a scale of -100 to 100), 45 points lower than that the average digital agency or systems integrator
  • In-House IT teams have an average VOCalis score of 67 (out of 100), or the equivalent of a “D”
  • The NPS score of the technologies being implemented by In-House IT teams was -35, over 30 points lower than when implemented by a digital partner

So, while technology vendors may not know enough about their partners to prescribe the best-fit partner to customers, most any of their partners will fare better than the brand’s internal IT team. And both buyers and vendors alike should take note. Vendors know that lower satisfaction means more churn, or at minimum a much lower value realization for customers. And since initial technology implementations tend to support a baseline set of requirements, it is unlikely that brands will return to the vendor to purchase additional capabilities, or to ever reach the quixotic “phase 2” requirements that were actually the justification for the technology purchase in the first place.

In our experience, most business buyers don’t yearn to use their IT teams in lieu of outside agencies. Rather, they are either forced to do so either because of internal policies or because they under-budget the cost of the implementation. Both are short-sighted. Policies that put IT teams into impossible scenarios by pretending they can be something they’re not are laughable, and they ignore the expertise of digital agencies and integrators at their peril. Rather than setting the implementation up for failure, why not recognize the extremely critical role that the internal IT team must play in order achieve successful outcomes? In-house IT must partner with the outside agency to bring organization-specific technology and process information into the fold, but they should lean on the experts for the rest.

Have any thoughts or questions? We’d love to hear them. And if you are interested in learning more about our VOCalis voice of customer program, please contact us. We work with buyers, partners, and technology vendors to help them all improve outcomes.


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