According to Keypoint Intelligence/InfoTrends research, managed IT is a leading area of investment for small and medium businesses. A recent survey showed that customers were most likely to be seeking out IT professional services than other areas like enterprise software, PC hardware, and print supplies, indicating their increasing reliance on critical applications and databases.
SMBs Showing Greatest Interest in Managed IT
Small- and medium-sized businesses appear to be showing the greatest interest in managed IT infrastructure services, potentially because they are the least likely to have adequate IT resources in house. This is especially the case for companies using office equipment dealers for their technology needs. Office equipment dealers tend to tailor their range of offerings to SMBs, which make up the majority of businesses in their coverage areas, and are expanding their offerings to meet current business demands.
The Most Popular Services Are Networking, Device Management
It appears that customers are most likely to seek out services like managed network services (60%), IT device management (59%), PC and laptop maintenance or break/fix services (51%), and cloud services (51%). Help desk services and wireless services also appear to be in demand. While each company does have its own unique set of requirements, companies considering managed IT may find it helpful to understand what types of services other companies are benefiting from.
Managed IT Expected to Grow Dramatically in Coming Years
Managed IT services are only going to grow in importance. About 60% of technology vendors surveyed expect this part of their business to expand in the next five years. This figure is 94% for office equipment dealers, and represents the simplified business technology management that companies desire.
The managed services expected to see the most growth aren’t necessarily the ones being used the most currently. For instance, technology vendors expect demand for services around mobile devices, the cloud, unified communication and collaboration, and wireless communication to grow the most in the next five years.
When Is Managed IT Right for Your Company?
While many businesses are seeking out managed IT services, it doesn’t necessarily mean they are the best option for all companies. That said, there are several key questions organizations might consider when deciding on the appropriateness of a managed IT infrastructure deployment. These include:
- How well does our current IT infrastructure meet our needs?
- How well would our current IT infrastructure handle an increase in bandwidth going forward?
- How much would it cost to update components of our IT infrastructure?
- Is our IT staffing model appropriate and adequate for our future plans?
- How much would an appropriate managed IT engagement cost?
- Is an in-house or managed deployment more cost-effective?
- Professional services, like managed IT infrastructure services, are a leading area of interest and focus for customers and vendors.
- While customers appear to be benefiting most from services like networking services, IT device management, cloud services, PC and laptop maintenance or break/fix services, it appears that services around mobile devices and more options in the cloud will see the most growth in the coming years.
- A vendor that can manage both office equipment technology and IT services can streamline a business’s technology management.
- While managed IT services are clearly growing in popularity, particularly among SMBs, it’s important for each company to do its own assessment to determine the actual value of this type of engagement.