News | March 25, 2014

Modest Managed Services Adoption Suggests More Customer Education Is Needed, CompTIA Research Finds

Customer who’ve adopted managed service are satisfied with results, but plenty of room for additional market penetration

Modest customer uptake of managed information technology (IT) services may signal the need more end user awareness and education about the businesses benefits of the service delivery model, according to new research released recently by CompTIA, the non-profit association for the IT industry.

Roughly three in ten organizations have adopted managed services in some form, though precise market sizing is difficult due to continued customer confusion about what constitutes a managed service.

In most cases companies are using managed services in a hybrid fashion alongside their internal IT department, rather than as a wholesale replacement, according to CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Managed Services study.

“For those companies who are using managed services there is a high level of satisfaction,” said Carolyn April, director, industry analysis, CompTIA. “But choosing the managed services route is a major organizational decision, one that must be weighed against handling IT internally, and one that requires many steps to make a successful transition.”

Companies that have embraced the managed services model in whole or in part have done so for an array of reasons: better network uptime; a more assured path to network security; to get out ahead of potential problems; and to proactively assess and act on future needs.

“Some organizations view alignment with a managed services provider as an avenue to new technologies that will be made available to them in a more affordable and accessible fashion,” April noted. “This ranks as a major factor for roughly two-thirds of companies, regardless of size or experience with managed services.”

Cost savings, always a significant demand driver for technology buying decisions, were cited by 57 percent of survey respondents as a major factor in their decision to use managed services.

Generally positive reviews from customers of their managed services experiences suggests that more companies could benefit if they were more aware of the options available to them.

“The good news is that there are opportunities to be had in the marketplace,” said April. “But 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.”

One factor that could prompt an escalation in the adoption of managed services is cloud computing.

“Cloud-based providers are enabling end customers to outsource IT functions in a more automated fashion for a fraction of the cost,” April noted. “That’s the one wild card that could change the growth path.”

CompTIA And Managed Services
The managed services study is the latest example of how CompTIA re-invests resources to help IT businesses succeed. In addition to timely research and market insights, CompTIA also provides the managed services market with:

  • a selection of education and training options for current and prospective MSPs;
  • the CompTIA Managed Services Trustmark, a business credential that identifies MSPs who have committed to following industry-established best practices; and
  • the CompTIA Managed Services Community, a group of industry leaders focused on the creation of standards and resources to improve managed services marketing and delivery.

About The Study
CompTIA’s Third Annual Trends in Managed Services study is based on a November 2013 online survey of 400 IT and business professionals in the United States involved in IT decision-making for their organizations. The survey was augmented by a series of in-depth interview with 17 management-level professionals, including CIOs, directors of IT and vice presidents. The full report is available at no cost to CompTIA members. For more information, visit

About CompTIA
CompTIA is the voice of the world’s information technology (IT) industry. Its members are the companies at the forefront of innovation; and the professionals responsible for maximizing the benefits organizations receive from their investments in technology. CompTIA is dedicated to advancing industry growth through educational programs, market research, networking events, professional certifications and public policy advocacy. For more information, visit