Leading the pack among retail IT services suppliers are IBM Global Services, Microsoft, Infosys, NCR, Deloitte, SAS and HP. All are in the top five (including ties) in the overall ranking for customer satisfaction. As the overall leader, it is not surprising that IBM ranked at the top of several breakout categories, including Depth of Offerings, Domain Expertise, Integration Capabilities and Meeting Expectations. Other winners included SAS and Athens Group (tied) in On-Time and On Budget, Ciber in Overall Satisfaction with the Project, and Microsoft in the Recommendation Status category.
Customer satisfaction leads to loyalty, and loyalty leads to growth and profits. This is the mantra of the classic business book "The Loyalty Effect," written by Frederick F. Reichheld in 1996. It also is the mantra of the RIS LeaderBoard series. For the first time, the RIS LeaderBoard enters the realm of IT services, comparing firms head-to-head in a ranking system that has proven to be a trusted and valuable barometer for the industry in the retail software and hardware realms. The full report will be released later this week in the November issue of RIS. It will be available for download on www.risnews.com.
The IT Services LeaderBoard takes the pulse of retailers and their perception of supplier satisfaction. To produce the survey, RIS partnered with Pierre Audoin Consultants (PAC), a leading market research and strategic consulting firm for the software and IT services industry. The chief analyst for the study was Peter Russo, senior consultant for PAC, a member of the RIS Editorial Advisory Board.
A full overview of methodology and category definitions can be found in the IT Services LeaderBoard 2007. Here are some highlights:
- The top five IT services suppliers in Domain Expertise are IBM Global Services, NCR, Microsoft, Infosys and Deloitte. Infosys is the only offshore player among the leaders on this list, which indicates its early and large investment in the retail business has paid off.
- It should be no surprise that global IT services suppliers dominate the Depth of Offerings category. However, IBM has separated itself from the pack. Retailers perceive IBM to be the top supplier of end-to-end retail-specific services by a significant margin. Its integrated model (IT services, business services, software, hardware and financing) is unique in the IT industry and is especially well developed in the retail sector.
- Interestingly, the top 10 list in Integration Capabilities shows a strong presence by the leading Indian offshore players, which have demonstrated a growing knowledge in the retail sector, including Infosys, Wipro and Cognizant.
- Meeting Expectations is another strong area for offshore suppliers. Capturing spots on this top 10 list are Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).
- Cost overruns have become an accepted part of doing business with many leading IT services suppliers, but credit for leading this bottom-line category goes to SAS and Athens Group, and also to Point of Sale Services (PSS), Satyam and Cognizant for registering high scores.
- Within the top 10 ranking of the Overall Satisfaction category there was no clear leader, with the leading suppliers scoring within a tenth of a point of the winner, which was the supply-chain specialist Ciber. Other top performers in this category include Infosys, PSS, LakeWest and IBM.
- For the Recommendation Status category, which measures how strongly retailers would recommend IT services suppliers to others, the top performers were Microsoft, IBM, Infosys, NCR, Accenture and Deloitte.
For more depth, insight and conclusions about this critical ranking of IT services suppliers be sure to read the complete study in print in the November issue of RIS and online at www.risnews.com.