Glad you asked. Here are the most important skills and knowledge areas that IT departments want from potential IT support providers, according to LogicNow (formerly GFI Max) research -- led by GM Alistair Forbes (pictured above). Also, our perspectives are inserted in italics:
1. Technical expertise: Certainly a strong area for many IT services providers.
2. Network design, configuration, installation: A classic skill set that may have wained a bit amid the cloud services rush.
3. Application skills: A glaring area of weakness for many IT services providers -- especially as client-server applications shifted to the cloud and mobile app worlds. EMC insists that corporate application development is about to experience a renaissance. We doubt many partners are ready for it.
4. Service management: A strong area for many IT partners.
5. Service integration: Weaving together multiple on-premises and cloud services often isn't a strong area for partners
6. Hardware integration: Converged data center infrastructure (networks, server storage) should lesson the burden here.
7. Trusted advisor/outsourced CIO role: Relatively low on the list of customer needs -- though likely higher when dealing with very small businesses that lack any type of internal IT expertise.
8. Product recommendations: A strong area for most partners.
9. Focus on developing business as a whole: A weak area for many IT service providers. In fact, many of those providers are struggling to develop their own businesses...
10. Vendor relationships: This certainly varies from partner to partner, and specialty area to specialty area.
I wonder: How many IT services providers will print that list and pivot their businesses to address those customer priorities?