To IT buyers, strategic partners are vendors that have gone beyond effective delivery of systems and services to become consistently transparent, responsive and trusted collaborators in creating value for the enterprise. Vendors that do not meet this mark face commoditization and, ultimately, become an afterthought at renewal time — while competing primarily on price in a race to the bottom.

Buyers need to pick strategic partners and develop them for mutual wins. The risks of not pursuing the most strategic vendor relationships possible are profound: Buyers will be slow to market; will miss project and implementation deadlines; and will be denied potential business opportunities due to a lack of transparency and trust on both sides. Ultimately, buyers are accountable to their internal stakeholders across their respective organizations. Failure to execute on strategic partnerships represents a potential failure to execute on business objectives, with attendant professional and financial risks.

Seven out of 10 IT leaders state they spend up to half of their total budget on external/service providers. The scale of this capital investment alone — not to mention the time, attention, and focus involved — underscores how important it is for buyers and vendors to rise above the transactional and embrace true strategic partnership.


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