Five things Asia's IT buyers want to avoid

IT vendors may not realize it, but their customers can be ticked off by something as seemingly minor as calling on them at the wrong time.

A new IT project can easily turn into a nightmare, if IT managers are not watchful. But some problems lie with the technology vendor that does not understand their customers' business requirements.

Whether it is at the start of a new project, or two years after the technology has been implemented, there will be pain points businesses will have to deal with. ZDNet Asia caught up with two IT decision makers in Asia to find out more about their top-most concerns, when working with vendors and implementing IT.

Here are five key areas IT buyers could do without:

1. Overselling and under-delivering
From experience, Daniel Lai, CIO of Hong Kong's MTR, has learnt not to believe everything the sales person says. "It is very common for separate teams from a particular vendor to be responsible for selling and delivering.

"Sometimes, the sales team may be too anxious to conclude an order, and may end up over-committing without realizing the other team may face technical difficulties or resource constraints [trying to fulfil the order]," he said.

2. Lack of understanding
One common lament IT buyers have is the difficulty in finding good technology vendors that are also business-problem solvers. Lai said: "Vendors sometimes lack understanding of the IT user's business, his requirements and expectations, which create unnecessary misunderstanding and tension. They may also recommend inappropriate solutions."

3. Not knowing when to call
While IT buyers appreciate an IT vendor's call, it has to come at the right time and at the right place. According to Lai, some vendors just do not know this.

"Sales representatives tend to work according to their agenda and schedules rather than the users," Lai said. "For example, they keep chasing the users at the end of the quarter in order to meet their sales quota. They show up at inappropriate times, and yet sometimes, they can hardly be contacted when a user wishes to discuss [the project] with them."

4. Service, delivery inconsistencies
Inconsistency in service delivery is an oft-cited IT buyer concern. "Users prefer dealing with vendors that can provide consistencies in service, approach and practices," said Lai.

5. Technology worries
Another potential IT buyer's nightmare relates to the end of a product's lifecycle, said Yau Chen Hui, who works for a Singapore government agency.

"Many IT buyers lack the technology capability, as well as financial and technical resources, to procure the latest hardware or software," Yau said. "In the case of hardware, they often have to settle for the second or third best. When there is a need for a technology upgrade after two to three years, the upgrade components may no longer be available from the vendor."

There is also a lack of support and change in the underlying technology offered in new releases, he noted. This can limit the upgrade path. When that happens, it could mean "re-architecting the environment"--something IT buyers would like to avoid, he added.

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