Brett Raynes - Differentiation in IT


"Differentiation is the most difficult thing to do in many businesses, but particularly in the IT industry. And even more so in the IT services industry.

If you go to any IT or technology tradeshow, you could take ay of the logos from any of the exhibitors and jumble them up, throw them back down and you wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between any of them. They’re all claiming to provide a range of services or to be the trusted advisor or ‘we’re different because we focus on the customer’, and frankly a lot of nonsense. And it’s really hard. First point, accept it’s really hard to differentiate.

As a business, we’ve (and that applies to every business, it really does). A lot of IT services businesses are being differentiated just by geography. Just by ‘we’re close to you’. And that’s been good enough but the problem with cloud and connectivity is that’s undermining that differentiation.

What we’ve done (and we’ve been through lots of iterations of this), is looked at what the customer wants. And we are very clear in understanding that the customer wants simplicity and ease. And they want to be able to take the latest stuff in a way in which they can trust it and it makes their life easier, not more complex. And we also know from our own research and our own customers, they want a single point of contact, which is not in itself a new concept. They want to be able to go to one company and one support desk and one bill and all the stuff that makes sense.

So what we’ve focussed on is packaging. Our differentiation is about packaging cloud technologies into industry solutions so that people can say ‘you can buy this package, for your industry, with these SLAs, delivered in this timescale, at this fixed price to migrate and this fixed price per month, to use. And it’s the packaging of that technology and complexity into something that’s easy to consume is the way we’re doing it, because that’s what our customers tell us they need. And the experience they have, as a result of that, is simplicity and ease and confidence – which the cloud in general terms doesn’t have today."

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