Jane Ayres

With our industry at the greatest inflexion point we’ve seen in decades, choosing the right technology partner is critical. Whether it's a Cloud Consultant, a Managed Service Provider or an On Premises expert, if you get the right IT solutions partner on board, you get instant access to highly-skilled expertise.  Proven technical ability and experience across different sectors are top priorities.  But interestingly, so are the so-called, “softer” skills.  Clients often use the phrases: “trusted advisor” "transparency" and "agility", when describing what makes them choose one IT solutions provider over another.

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At a recent CIO event, I quizzed some of our current clients about what they look for in a technology partner. Here’s what they said:

CIO: Leading UK children’s charity

"We’re looking for trusted advisor as we adopt cloud-based services.   I want to follow a well-trodden path.

And what OCSL brings to the party is an understanding of what other organisations have actually done.  I want to steer around mistakes and deliver solutions that deliver good value for money. 

There’s a danger when consultants work with lots of different clients, that they’ll adopt a one-size-fits-all approach.  We’re looking for consultants who can understand exactly what we need, then tailor solutions accordingly. 

The customer is not always right and what I’m looking for is a level of respectful challenge.  By having those grown up conversations we can get to solutions that optimise both the technology and resources available."

Head of Technology Services: Largest provider of holidays in the UK

"We’re pathological problem solvers and we need partners who are agile and are able to put a sensible head on some of the solutions. And work with us on strategy. 

Nowadays, it’s not about just selling, stuff, about selling licences. It’s about providing solutions.  It’s about being able to tap into the right skill set and the right knowledge. 

When choosing a technology partner, we need agility and we need quick delivery. Digital has to a certain extent put us on the back foot. We need to get our technology partners to help us quickly get back on the front foot.

Agile partners like OCSL are vital.  You help sanity check solutions, finesse strategy and ensure we get great value."

CIO: NHS Foundation Hospital Trust

"We can’t afford to partner with people who can’t deliver, because our reputation and peoples’ lives are on the line.

Partnerships aren’t just about signing on the dotted line now, they are about living-it forever.

In Healthcare, we need the same type of IT resilience and innovation as, say, a Formula 1 racing team. That’s what the NHS deserves and that that’s what you’ve offered us.

We have gone from a standing start to a very advanced platform very quickly. And we work well together.

You've been excellent at pointing out what we should be investing in and in helping us write convincing business cases.  

Our people and your people working together are a force to be reckoned with."

Director: “Big 5” consultancy

"We need an agile partner alongside us.  We work on huge business transformation projects, such as, SAP Hana transformations.  These projects can provide huge IT benefits for organisations, but also great value to the wider business. 

Working with OCSL we can provide the deep technical knowledge to undertake a Hana migration. And we can help the client release the value in the business. And that’s a great combination.

When we start developing a new service we need some form of infrastructure, some form of sandpit to be able to develop things on.  You’ve stepped up and provided those for us. 

You supplement us with technical skills and offer support with apps and with infrastructure.  We view you as a Go-To market partner.

There’s no doubt about it, working with you guys has given us the flexibility and agility we need."


When it comes to identifying your direction of travel at present, having a trusted Hybrid IT advisor could make all the difference.

If you'd like to start talking to us about any of our Managed Services, On Premises, or Cloud Services and Solutions or Digital Transformation, please get in touch.

Thought piece