10 early-warning signs of a failing vendor or product


It’s a fact of business life that technology vendors sometimes go out of business or sunset their products. This happens less than most customers fear, but when it does, the results can range from damaging to catastrophic. Therefore, a prudent enterprise will monitor key technologies and suppliers for potential problems.

At Real Story Group, a lot of our research goes into reviewing “vendor intangibles” to help guide customer decision making early on. Over the years, we’ve found a failing vendor or open-source project will exhibit telltale signs. By identifying these signs, you the customer can conduct your own risk mitigation accordingly.

10 warning signs a vendor is failing

1. Significant fall-off in new customers

When a vendor fails to attract new customers at historically meaningful levels, it can indicate something is wrong with the offering—usually that it has fallen behind its peers with respect to intrinsic functionality or its core value proposition.

Over a period of quarters or years, a decline in new customers almost always reflects deep problems—even if the vendor continues to make a good living off support and maintenance fees.

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