Was it love or just lockdown? UK decision makers left questioning tech investments made during the pandemic

A study recently released by Sungard Availability Services (Sungard AS), reveals a majority of senior UK decision makers have doubts over the validity of technology investments made with third party technology partners over the last 12 months. With 54 percent of respondents contemplating if pandemic pressures saw money wasted, two thirds (68 percent) believe it remains to be seen if all investments will be suitable long-term.

To understand the relationship challenges faced by organisations during a period of such extreme uncertainty, Sungard AS surveyed 500 senior decision makers in the UK at organisations with 500+ employees. The findings highlight that, as with all relationships, how challenges are faced as a team often defines the strength and longevity of a partnership. The study reveals that despite battling both technology-based and human-centric obstacles since the pandemic began, especially with third party cloud partners, businesses retain a positive outlook, confident that they will be able to find successful matches for investments in the future.

Technology-focused hurdles cited in the study included concerns over data security (27 percent), compliance and regulatory issues (22 percent) and unexpected or unpredictable costs (22 percent). Issues with employees at partners included the inability to admit fault or shortcomings when warranted (16 percent), an unwillingness to compromise (15 percent) and a lack of honesty and integrity (14 percent). Only 12 percent of respondents stated they did not face any challenges working with third party cloud partners.

“Like any relationship, solid working relationships do not ‘just happen’,” comments Chris Huggett, Senior Vice President, EMEA & India at Sungard AS. “They take time, patience and transparency from two parties who want to work effectively together. Did companies find love during lockdown with third party partners, and investments that would set them on the path to long-term success? Unfortunately, it appears not in the majority of cases, as our findings reveal a lack of faith in spending decisions and some shortfall by third party partners to deliver the stability needed by many senior decision makers.”

Despite experiencing a number of relationship roadblocks, businesses remain optimistic regarding future collaborations. Over the next 12 months, just over three in ten (31%) of senior decision makers believe third party technology partners will help them evolve solutions to meet their long-term goals, with 30 percent set to look for guidance on further innovation. Over a third (35%) of respondents have already accelerated plans for cloud investments, and a quarter want to be better placed to reap the benefits the cloud can offer.

Whether just at the start, or years into a partnership, the secret to a happy relationship can be hard to pinpoint. But there are certain elements that can improve the chances of success in business today, such as collaboration on end goals, being able to share ideas openly, embracing similarities and differences, being available and resilient, and above all, establishing a long-term plan in unison.

Huggett concludes, “Much like the qualities one might search for in a personal connection, senior decision makers want third party technology partners to exhibit traits that go beyond just technological insights. Thirty-seven percent want honesty and integrity (37 percent), a fifth (20 percent) want the ability to work through conflicts maturely, and one in ten (11 percent) simply want to collaborate with people that have a sense of humour. By working in tandem with knowledgeable partners to adopt a cloud ready approach, organisations will be better placed to reap the benefits the cloud can offer in 2021, and well beyond.”

A copy of the complete findings from the study can be found here.



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