IT solution providers have an opportunity to find new and expanded business opportunities with accounting, law and marketing firms, according to a survey of 600 accounting, legal and marketing services firms.
The vast majority of the firms surveyed (87.7 percent) have fewer than 10 employees, placing them directly in the small business target area for IT solution providers.
While an estimated 35 percent of firms rely on managed IT services in some capacity, familiarity with this model of IT management remains modest.
Cyber security, already a high priority, has taken on added importance and become more of an executive leadership issue.
Top concerns include a breach of client data that triggers a notification disclosure, threats related to mobile phones, tablet and apps, and managing the complexity and uncertainty over cyber security regulations.
A majority of firms say they are in the early to mid-stage of cloud computing adoption, with 54 percent of law firms, 57 percent of accounting firms and 69 percent of marketing companies self-reporting some use of cloud-based solutions.
While around half of the firms surveyed said they are well positioned with their technology vision and strategy, the other half reported shortcomings in some areas.
For IT solution providers interested in doing business with accounting, law and marketing firms, the report notes the stronger the alignment between business objectives and technology solutions the better the chances of an initiative exceeding expectations. Otherwise, technology could be viewed as a cost rather than an asset.
The report also notes professional services firms are about evenly split among frequent early adopters of technology, occasional early adopters and mainstream adopters. Consequently, the needs of individual companies will vary widely.
This means IT solution providers who can deliver the appropriate technology offering at the appropriate level will be best positioned to meet the needs of customers regardless of where they are on the adoption curve.
This market is also information-intense in its use of computing devices, software applications and office technologies, with a net 78 percent of the firms surveyed for the study saying technology is important to their business.
Overall, with more than 428,000 business establishments and 4.3 million workers, accounting, law and marketing firms provide a large base of potential customers for IT product, service and solution providers.
A net 78 percent of firms give a very satisfied or satisfied rating for the technology they regularly use.
Accounting firms report notably higher satisfaction rates than law firms (net 88 percent versus 69 percent), while marketing firms came in at a net 78 percent satisfaction level.