In-house IT service departments are one of the chief competitors that MSPs face. After all, if a company is effectively obtaining IT services from existing personnel, there is no great impetus to outsource. Fortunately for MSPs, a recent survey from InformationWeek demonstrates a widespread dissatisfaction with the quality and timeliness of in-house IT services. Let’s take a quick look at some of the survey’s key findings, and potential MSP opportunities.
The survey, which included 500 executives of companies of all sizes, indicates:
- only 60% of respondents use project management offices and 58% use formal project management methodologies.
- two-thirds of respondents use spreadsheets as a project management tool while barely more than half (53%) use a dedicated project management tool, and 45% cite poor project planning as a top reason IT projects don’t meet expected results.
- 41% of respondents saying the business views IT projects as a “mixed bag” in terms of results and 36% have no staffers certified in project management.
Again, while the survey does not specify how SMBs replied to these questions, any MSP with SMB experience knows that most SMBs do not have any type of formal project management going on in their organization and cannot dedicate the time or expense to developing that skillset. So how exactly can an MSP capitalize on this widespread discontentment with internal IT among SMBs?
For starters, MSPs should master SMB project management, leveraging common, proven tools like professional services automation (PSA) software.
A few more suggestions:
Be the Voice of Experience
Most SMBs do not have any real in-house expertise in project management or access to the latest and greatest project management tools and techniques. You do (or should), and can deliver them on a cost-effective and reliable managed services basis. Most SMBs manage projects on an ad hoc basis out of necessity, not because it is their preferred approach.
Lack of reliability among internal IT departments and projects is apparently running rampant across businesses of all sizes, and one of the biggest advantages of managed services is their high degree of reliability, without requirements for infrastructure or staff investments. Provide SMBs reliable, high-quality IT services when they are needed and you should have no trouble drumming up business.
Even if they are highly dissatisfied with their current internal IT services (or lack thereof), cash-strapped SMBs will most likely grimace and “make do” with a substandard IT department rather than pay an exorbitant amount for a much better outside service. As good as your managed services may be, they will have few SMB takers if the price is too high. Also keep in mind news of a good job will spread and obtaining client wins for slightly less money than you hoped for upfront can pay off down the road in terms of volume.