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Support is Trendy Once More

by Rob Addy  |  February 23, 2012  |  1 Comment

Support is rad. It’s hip. It’s cool. It’s very very trendy… Quite literally in fact. For the first time in over 4 years, Gartner has just published a Market Trends report specific to the Product Support space. It’s available now and is called “Market Trends: The Product Support Beast Awakens, Worldwide, 2012“.  So what exactly has the industry done to justify this dubious honor?

As regular readers of this blog (and by all accounts there are at least half a dozen of you oh so very special people :-)) will undoubtedly know, the product support market is undergoing massive change. Market challenges are forcing providers to develop new services aimed at incident prevention while reducing their customer’s operational costs and allowing them to extract the maximum possible value from their previous technology investments. The rate of service innovation is accelerating as providers who had previously rested on their laurels recognize the need to invest to protect and extend their maintenance annuity streams. A skeptical market is not embracing these initiatives as readily as the support industry would like due to concerns over provider motives, a lack of confidence in prevention based approaches coupled with the provider’s ability to deliver and personal fears regarding job security and changing roles.

Yes, the times they are a changing!

But it’s not just the support market that is in a period of transition. The broader IT services industry is also in a state of flux. The graphic above shows how the various IT service disciplines are fairing and trying to adapt to embrace the new normal.  Some will thrive, others will survive and some will go the way of the dinosaurs. Agility is critical. As is one’s ability to understand the early indicators of change and to plot ones course accordingly. Demonstrable customer value is first and last. The support industry is well placed to flourish. Coming from a position of relative anonymity, it is unlikely to be caught up within the turf wars and territorial battles that other service providers are likely to become embroiled in. It will watch from its vantage point as others throw money at the cloud and everything-as-a-service phenomena and rise above the marketing noise with the aid of truly proactive and predictive services. Yes. Product support has the potential to do very well for itself as the future state of the IT services industry unfolds…

The Market Trends note discusses the adoption of the Gartner Product Support Maturity Scale, the transition from reactive break/fix services to more proactive and predictive offerings. And includes a staggering 19 general industry trends split between the 3 areas depicted above. The report also includes 7 software support specific trends and 8 hardware support specific trends. This abundance of trendiness is complimented with a “the end of the world is nigh” type scenario, an industry level SWOT analysis and is topped off with lashings of actionable advice and recommended actions.

Be sure to grab your copy now!


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Category: support-strategy  support-value  

Tags: gartner-product-support-maturity-scale  internal-perception  market-perceptions  market-trends  predictive  strategic-planning  support-value-chain  value-proposition  

Rob Addy
Research Vice President
5 years at Gartner
More years than I care to remember in the IT industry

Welcome to my blog! I post about all things services related from the provider perspective. End-users are welcome to read but please be aware that you may sometimes find its content unsettling. I will endeavour to post frequently (as it's a lot cheaper than a therapist) but please forgive me if other more mundane activities occasionally get in the way...Read my official Gartner bio here

Thoughts on Support is Trendy Once More

  1. Weston Eidson says:

    Hello Rob, thanks for the article. It is interesting to see this increasing trend. My company, Seilevel has been noticing this trend as well when working on requirements for customers. There has been a higher concentration on customer-focused and support-driven requirements and guiding principles, as well as support-focused projects as a whole, in our recent work. Again, I appreciate your post and can’t help but agree.


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