By Megan Williams, contributing writer
CompTIA’s study on managed IT services reveals opportunities for market growth through customer education
How much do customers understand about managed IT services? According to a recent CompTIA study, it’s likely less than you might expect — and that gap in understanding is slowing down the growth of managed IT services overall.
The study shows that users of managed IT services are highly satisfied with the services they’re currently receiving, but at the same time, growth in the sector is only modest — CompTIA estimates about 3 in 10 organizations are using some form of managed services. This gap may be due to the fact that organizations and managers are not fully aware of the practical difference between in-house IT services and those that are handled by managed services providers (MSPs). Most of the respondents in the study who used managed services did so in a hybrid fashion, mixing managed services with their own internal IT departments.
Why Companies Use Managed Services
Carolyn April, director of industry analysis at CompTIA, notes a significant driver to use managed services that was cited by about two-thirds of those surveyed: alignment with managed services as a convenient and flexible outlet to new technologies. Saving money was cited by 57 percent of survey respondents CompTIA’s study also found companies use managed IT services for various reasons: improving network uptime, fortifying network security, taking a proactive stance against technical problems, and addressing future needs or future-proofing their systems.
All of this means that there are major opportunities in the market for those who can take advantage of them. April states that “… the first step has to be a greater commitment by channel partners and MSPs to build awareness and educate customers. Otherwise the market is likely to experience only incremental growth.” Survey respondents’ generally positive reviews mean that it is likely that more companies would benefit from managed IT services, if they were to properly understand the concept and how it applies to their business.
One way to align this education with customer desire to cut costs is the use of cloud computing. Cloud-based services provide customers the option of outsourcing IT functions at a much lower cost than the industry has seen previously. April comments, “That’s the one wild card that could change the growth path.”