SAP Ariba survey finds businesses turn to solution providers to augment capacity and access skills, but problems exist
Businesses are utterly reliant upon solution providers, service providers and freelancers in their operations. A new survey by SAP Ariba finds businesses need external workers and services to access specialized skills, augment workforce capacity, and maintain agility. The reliance doesn’t come without challenges, though, as many businesses experience deficiencies in working with solution providers.
The Lowdown: The reliance on solution providers to perform specialized tasks and capacity augmentation activities is vital to most businesses. Executives surveyed by SAP say external workers and services can help businesses unlock greater value in their products, services and go-to-market models; contain fixed operations costs; speed time to market; and mitigate risk of strategic investments.
The Details: In the global study, which was conducted in collaboration with SAP Fieldglass, 48% of executives said they would be unable to conduct business as usual without solution providers and external workers. Another 59% percent said solution providers help them compete in the digital marketplace; 61% said solution providers are important for expediting time to market; and 67% said solution providers can greatly improve customer experience and satisfaction — increasingly important factors for retaining and expanding account relationships in service-based models.
The Impact: While SAP Ariba finds that businesses rely on and value external workers and service providers, the relationships aren’t without challenges or problems. The survey found that one in four outsourced projects isn’t completed on time or in line with budgets, 44% of businesses experience security breaches through their solution providers, and only about one-quarter of executives have accurate insights into third-party activities relative to milestones and objectives.
Channelnomics Point of View: The SAP Ariba study highlights both the good and bad aspects of working with solution and service providers. While the benefits are clear, the challenges are troubling. Solution providers need to do a better job of accurately scheduling and delivering on projects and tasks, provide businesses with greater visibility into activities and deliverables, and tighten security. By making these improvements, solution providers will enhance their value to clients and retain more business.