In the digital age, businesses of all sizes struggle to manage the ever-changing complexities of their IT systems. Small and midsized companies are in an especially difficult position as they cope with limited budgets, shortages of IT expertise and even security concerns. It is no wonder that in a 2016 survey of more than 400 small businesses, research firm Clutch found that the majority (69 percent) of small and medium businesses (SMBs) hire at least one type of IT service provider. Many of those businesses are just getting started, while 39 percent plan to increase their spending on IT services in 2016.
This increase in demand for managed service providers has been visible in the last couple years. Businesses are realizing the benefit of technology investment in terms of enhanced capability, efficiency and productivity. As their infrastructure ages, software becomes outdated, or new threats are introduced, they are looking for new solutions. This continues to drive demand.
The study also addressed some challenges for IT service providers in delivering the best possible customer services to small business clients. The customer satisfaction scores revealed less than average satisfaction with IT services compared to B2B service industry benchmarks. At BDO Digital, we differentiate our services to meet this challenge. With high marks in more than a dozen elements, including delivery, client experience and market presence, BDO Digital earned the number one spot on Clutch’s Leader Matrix for Top Managed Services Provider.
As the number one provider of managed services, Clutch sought BDO Digital for answers when trying to explain the widespread dissatisfaction with IT service providers among small and midsize businesses. Based on our experience with talking to clients and understanding their pain points, we believe that one of the major factors is a lack of strategic support.
Some companies feel that their current IT service provider isn't able to recommend, implement, and support the technologies required to run a business today. Emerging technologies like cloud, mobile device management, and next generation security solutions can add complexity to the conversation. Many smaller service providers may not have the capability, expertise or scale to drive those conversations. Customers are looking for IT advisers – a virtual CIO who can sit at the table, understand the business drivers, and lead the roadmap process to deliver technology to support those goals.
Technology isn’t slowing down, and according to this data, neither is the demand for a strategic IT service provider. Today’s managed services teams need to take a holistic look at what it means to be an IT partner and provide solutions that go beyond basic help desk support and get into the real issues of how clients can best align IT to meet their business goals.