Enterprise customers desire an easy way to purchase and even re-sell digital services, but operators are missing out on this opportunity because they don’t offer an intuitive and engaging digital buying experience, according to a recent report.
ICT Intuition and Coleman Parkes Research released the results of its “Enterprise Multi-Client Study,” which surveyed more than 1,000 global business leaders across a variety of industries to better understand what enterprises want from connected digital services offerings – as both users and potential resellers. These offerings include, among many others, security and IT infrastructure management applications, business insight or data analytics programs and sales management tools.
The survey – findings from which were also published in our book, Operation Nexterday – revealed several insights into the steps operators need to take to monetise the digital services opportunity. As ICT Intuition president and founder Nancee Ruzicka explained, “operators are not taking advantage of a potentially lucrative market in which businesses are eager for connected digital services.”
According to the survey, 81 percent of respondents are currently using connected digital services to improve productivity, generate revenue or reduce business costs. Of the 19 percent who are not, all said they are considering these services.
On top of that, 71 percent would even like to bundle such connectivity into the products they sell, and among that group, 95 percent said they would want to partner with a digital or communications service provider to achieve this.
The report also explored the types of digital services businesses would pursue and their buying criteria. Businesses today largely prefer to purchase cloud and managed services that require minimal upfront development and maintenance, said the report, because they themselves lack the technology expertise and resources to build up their internal IT capabilities.
Turnkey connected digital services are, therefore, the preferred choice among many business buyers, especially if operators are able to help with implementation and development. Additionally, enterprises don’t necessarily need digital services that integrate with legacy systems, as they are happy to replace existing IT applications with faster, better technology, according to the survey.
How Operators Can Improve
Ultimately, the chief revelation was that enterprises are much more comfortable with digital services than previously expected. In fact, as Ruzicka writes, businesses today desire the same advantages and experiences that digital services offer consumers – if only operators would make it easy for them to partake.
“Businesses don’t have the time or resources to build business functionality themselves, and even for unique, industry-specific applications, only 2 percent are not considering as a Service (XaaS) options,” Ruzicka wrote in the book. “This is a seller’s market, so why aren’t digital and communications service providers selling?”
One big difficulty is that many operators currently lack a simple digital platform through which business customers can quickly search for and purchase digital services – something similar to the mobile app store experience consumers already enjoy.
That’s an experience operators will need to develop, something that can be achieved through next-generation operations and business support system (OSS / BSS) solutions. The insights drawn from such a platform can also inform future value-add services and revenue opportunities, thus fuelling future growth.
Ultimately, enterprises are ready to start talking about digital services, if only their operators could get on board. Savvy digital and communications service providers that embrace forward-thinking technologies stand to benefit in a big way.
Get a copy of Operation Nexterday for additional survey findings, insights and analysis.