As the pace of change in technology speeds up, companies are increasingly dependent on vendors to help them keep up. When ZDNet's sister site, Tech Pro Research, polled IT professionals on vendor relationships in April and May, most respondents said their company works with at least one vendor, and 47percent said their company uses more than 10. The most often-used category of vendors among respondents was, not surprisingly, hardware. As TechRepublic recently reported, the top three tech vendors, based on revenue, are Apple, Samsung Vendor Group, and Google.
While companies are partnering with more vendors, however, the relationship isn't always mutually beneficial. In some cases, problems at the vendor company turn into problems for clients. When asked about the biggest challenges of working with vendors, respondents commonly chose issues like turnover at vendor companies and slow product improvements.
Vendor companies can also present security and conflict of interest issues, as we saw recently with Walmart vendors using AWS after Amazon bought Walmart's competitor in the grocery business, Whole Foods. Among respondents to this survey, however, vendor security wasn't a big issue. Only 9 percent of respondents listed it as a pain point of working with vendors.
This infographic contains more details about the survey results. More data from the survey, plus detailed analysis is available in the full report, which is available to Tech Pro Research subscribers: Managing vendor relationships: Time commitment, benefits, and pain points.