New research by UK based managed IT services company has shown that an increasing number of organizations is looking to have a number of their IT functions managed externally. This is done mainly so that they can access more specialized services, but also to ensure that in-house IT staff can focus on the strategic elements of IT projects instead.
It seems that an increasing number of organizations are turning to MSPs (managed service providers) in order to deal with some of their IT functions. This has been revealed following a study by UK-based MSP NexusOS.co.uk.
MSPs have existed for quite some time, but few businesses have truly utilized their services. In fact, only 30% of businesses have outsourced their IT to MSPs in 2014. However, around 65% of businesses said that they had used MSPs in the past 12 months, a tremendous increase. It seems that businesses are starting to understand the value and benefits of these types of companies, particularly in terms of network monitoring, backup and recovery, storage, and CRM (customer relationship management) applications.
A representative from NexusOS says: “Some of the engagements with businesses continue to be one-time projects, but we have seen a sharp increase in ongoing support for entire IT functions. This really demonstrates that businesses are starting to understand what MSPs are all about.”
A number of MSP companies now offer business intelligence, data analytics, and advanced application monitoring services. This follows from an increased demand. That being said, the majority of companies still only offer software and network infrastructure support, but demand is also growing in those areas. The representative added: “One area of focus seems to be in mobile, but even in that area, a number of important opportunities are being missed.”
Raising awareness continues to be very important, and it seems that people continue to struggle with defining MSPs. Definitional issues are tremendous, because it makes it difficult to find out exactly how much market space MSPs take up, and how much of their services are being properly adopted. This is something that the MSP community also has to take responsibility for, because they are not doing a good job in advertising the importance of their work, although strides are clearly being made.
Organizations are outsourcing more of their IT needs, but MSPs continue to compliment IT departments, instead of replacing them in full. Yet, this may have benefits as it seems that MSP partnerships enable businesses to allow their existing IT staff to focus on more strategic needs.
The representative from NexusOS added: “IT staff are now elevated to come out of their organization’s shadows. They can focus on custom projects such as cloud initiatives or app development. As such, it is really a win-win situation.”
The new report also highlights that organizations are now turning to MSPs for different reasons. Once upon a time, the primary goal was to save costs. Now, however, businesses look for benefits such as improving overall efficiency and even generating revenue. Additionally, they seem to finally understand how they can maintain security while outsourcing IT processes at the same time. This is mainly due to security issues usually being caused by human error.
NexusOS highlighted a number of specific findings:
- 56% of companies with at least 100 staff members cited increased reliability and efficiency as reasons to use MSPs, as well as 47% of businesses with fewer than 100 staff members.
- 38% cited enhanced compliance and security as reasons.
- 33% cited cost savings and return on investment.
- 60% felt it enabled them to access more advanced technology.
- 63% use MSPs for application monitoring.
- Lowest demand is for MSP audio visual service, mobile device management, and video conferencing.