Evolving Job Market Requires More Managed Services

New research about the evolving U.S. job market suggests that demand for managed services could rise in some unexpected areas. Consider this: Transportation goods such as vehicles and auto parts, electrical equipment including household appliances, and furniture are among seven sectors that could create two to three million jobs as a result of manufacturing returning to the U.S., an emerging trend that is expected to accelerate starting in the next five years, according to new research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). What's the potential upside for managed services providers?

Data from BCG indicates the return of once outsourced jobs should reach a “tipping point” around 2015, when China’s shrinking cost advantage should prompt companies to rethink where they produce certain goods meant for sale in North America. In many cases, BCG predicts companies will shift production back from China or choose to locate new investments in the U.S.

While many of the jobs in these sectors which have been shipped overseas in the past 10 years have been from large enterprises, outsourcing has also cost many jobs once provided by SMBs. The return of outsourced SMB jobs will mean the addition of new employees and new plants/offices, which naturally means new IT systems, as well.

Looking at the industry sectors which are expected to bring back the bulk of these once-outsourced jobs, it appears certain types of managed services will be more in demand. In addition to a likely need to upgrade solutions in areas such as HR/payroll, benefits administration and hiring, there will probably be a strong demand for managed services and solutions relating to manufacturing, supply chain, import/export tracking and compliance, warehouse management and vendor management.

Mobile and Cloud May Be Relevant

Mobile and cloud technologies could serve as a huge asset for SMBs suddenly finding themselves managing more employees at more locations. Rather than having to expand costly physical infrastructure, SMBs could instead extend existing infrastructure assets via mobile and/or cloud networks. MSPs serving these SMBs should definitely explain the advantages, short term (quickly getting new personnel and facilities online) and long term (cost savings, better operating efficiencies).

Although the “tipping point” of this expected influx of outsourced jobs will not arrive for a few years, it never hurts to be ahead of the pack. MSPs should look for existing or potential SMB clients in sectors expected to reabsorb outsourced employees and find out what their plans are. If they are leaning toward bringing jobs back home, make sure they know you are ready and able to assist them. Indeed, 2015 will come a lot quicker than you think.

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