A series of recent blog posts by Maria Manning-Chapman, VP of Research, Education Services at the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) provide solid insight for the broader education services market. Manning-Chapman analyzes two sides of the customer adoption coin and points out that while providers of education services have been historically focused on revenue, profitability, and market share, customers have begun to focus increasingly on business outcomes like higher levels of efficiency, improved satisfaction levels, and expense reduction. Providers are taking note of this trend and are thinking hard about these sought after outcomes. Each market or industry will have its own set of value determinants. What might have been a differentiator two years ago might now be considered “table stakes.” Most industries are also being impacted by disruption that is happening with increasing speed, fueled by technical innovation.
Providers have several challenges:
- Moving further along into adoption services creates the requirement to know more about their clients and their external environment.
- “Speed is God, Time the Devil.” Providers must deliver deeper knowledge continuously to a market that is changing at an ever increasing rate.
- Most providers face low adoption and partial utilization by their clients.
When confronted with such challenges, it is sound to take stock of the external environment as a first step. This yields intelligence about opportunities and threats which when combined with knowledge of internal strengths and weaknesses creates the foundation for effective go-to-market planning. Leaders in the product management, marketing and sales functions that align their offers, messaging and positioning around business outcomes will have a higher likelihood of success. This is especially true for a market seeking business outcomes in rapidly changing times with historical adoption and utilization challenges.