10 Growth Opportunities IT Service Providers Need to Know

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2014-05-26 Print this article Print

While IT service providers are experiencing a period of growth, as evidenced by an increase in hiring and a steady rise in revenue, there are key areas in which a continuous service-improvement approach will create more opportunity. According to a recent survey of 1,300 ITSPs conducted by business management software specialist Autotask and research firm Decision Tree Labs, there are several areas of opportunity for ITSPs to strengthen their positions in the market. ITSPs need to think about how to expand their IT service catalogs beyond the specific offerings and solutions they now deliver. For example, survey respondents reported that a desire for tighter security tops the list of their clients' concerns, rating it as slightly more important than mobile-device management, support for the cloud and data management. ITSPs can fall behind competitors in 2014 if they aren't expanding their security offerings and monitoring key performance indicators and benchmarks. With worldwide IT spending expected to reach $3.8 trillion in 2014, the opportunities are clearly there. This eWEEK slide show examines key opportunities for ITSPs to ensure they benefit from rising IT spending.

  • 10 Growth Opportunities IT Service Providers Need to Know

    by Chris Preimesberger
    1 - 10 Growth Opportunities IT Service Providers Need to Know
  • Growing Demand

    From hiring to revenue, there will be increases in the ITSP industry throughout 2014. What's driving demand? Sixty-five percent of respondents said new client requests, followed by the need for new skills and geographic expansion. ITSPs need to be prepared to be able to evolve quickly to remain competitive.
    2 - Growing Demand
  • High-Growth Client Bases

    Which size company is growing the most? At 48 percent, midsize businesses (25 to 99 employees) are growing the most, and the fastest, followed by small business (1 to 24 employees), at 32 percent, and large businesses (100-plus employees) at 20 percent. Consider targeting SMBs that are growing, and ride the wave.
    3 - High-Growth Client Bases
  • Decline in Client Renewals

    Even a loss of clients can present an opportunity. In a growing market, the more efficiently an ITSP operates as its revenue expands, the better positioned the provider is to drive up profits and improve ongoing performance. In fact, an improvement in customer service is the No. 1 driver of client renewals (and a great way to ensure that you keep recurring revenue already earned).
    4 - Decline in Client Renewals
  • Technician Value

    Without knowledge and expertise, what value do your technicians (or your business) bring to the table? Knowledge and customer satisfaction ratings rank as the top two measurements of technician value. Technicians' billable hours or utilization come in at a close third—a metric a lot of ITSPs don't forecast correctly or measure for success. Take advantage of the technical expertise available to you, and let your clients know that it is available to them.
    5 - Technician Value
  • Microsoft Windows XP End of Support

    While the Windows EOS deadline of April 8 has passed, reassure clients that there is still time to migrate successfully to a modern solution. This is a great opportunity for ITSPs to build stronger relationships with clients by being a trusted resource that informs and educates them about their options—and how your business can help them take advantage of the opportunities available to them.
    6 - Microsoft Windows XP End of Support
  • Cloud Adoption

    Migrating to the cloud is increasing in popularity. Cloud technologies continue to disrupt the ITSP channel, both in the marketplace and within business models. Respondents stated that the expansion to the cloud/hosted apps is the No. 1 technology that's changing client expectations and driving growth and efficiency.
    7 - Cloud Adoption
  • Cloud Security

    Security is the top priority for ITSPs' clients in 2014, ranking above mobile-device management. Security is more than the antivirus and anti-spam solutions ITSPs have been delivering for years. ITSPs should seek out new security solutions to meet the challenge presented to businesses to secure their piece of the cloud and the technology infrastructure supporting business operations.
    8 - Cloud Security
  • Automation

    Duplicate data entry, inaccurate billing, sub-optimal scheduling, on-premises hardware and software maintenance, and disparate system maintenance are actions that when performed manually can lose ITSPs up to 20 billable hours per month. Add each of these five tasks, and ITSPs are facing a loss of 100 resource hours a month. Automation, eliminating nonessential tasks and streamlining business processes could potentially trigger a six-figure increase in revenue or a reduction in costs, leading to increased profitability.
    9 - Automation
  • Metrics That Matter

    Are you tracking client goals and satisfaction levels against industry benchmarks? How easy is it for you to determine client and contract profitability, or gross revenue? If you can understand the key metrics that matter in your business, you can set a path for growth and success through a continual improvement approach.
    10 - Metrics That Matter
  • Surveys

    Survey respondents ranked customer satisfaction as the top measure of business health, but they report less-than-rigorous methods to measure that metric. How can ITSPs know their client satisfaction rates and benefit from client insights. Use surveys. While 52 percent never use a survey to gain insight into customers' satisfaction, for those who do use surveys, email is the most used method. Find unhappy clients before they leave, or find your next case study by surveying your clients.
    11 - Surveys

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