The IT outsourcing market in the United States, which includes but is not limited to managed services, is growing rapidly. And MSPs are the number one choice when it comes to providing hosted services in the areas of disaster recovery and IT security. Findings from a recent survey of CIOs and other IT decision-makers conducted by global consulting firm Bluewolf indicate a shift away from traditional IT department staffing toward what Bluewolf terms an “elastic workforce.” This means top IT executives are looking to source their staff from multiple sources. Interestingly, Bluewolf data shows that agility and speed, rather than price, are the top motivating factors for the shift toward multisourced IT departments.
In addition, cloud computing is also a driver of IT oursourcing, as 17 percent of all outsourced data center operations are managed in the cloud and more companies are using cloud-based services from major providers such as Salesforce, Google and Workday.
Whatever the driver(s), study data shows the IT outsourcing market is growing: 32 percent of respondents will increase IT outsourcing investments, and 48 percent will hire more contractors, rather than full-time staff, in the next 12-18 months. On average, 48 percent of outsourcing budgets are allocated towards application services, a primary strength for MSPs.
Managed Security Services Prove PopularAs mentioned above, the survey also shows that MSPs are the top choice of CIOs and other IT decision-makers when it comes to outsourcing disaster recovery and IT security services. It executives may well have concerns about putting these sensitive processes in the hands of an offshore provider, and MSPs are generally more responsive and hands-on than their larger domestic outsourcing and service provider competition.
MSPs should respond to the study’s findings that they are the preferred choice for providing managed disaster recovery and IT security services by also paying attention to some of the other data. Cost no longer being a primary factor in IT outsourcing decisions is good news for MSPs, who typically cannot compete with the economies of scale larger rivals can provide. However, MSPs should take advantage of their natural advantage when it comes to agility and quick response, ensuring their managed security services offer maximum flexibility and speed, even at the expense of raising the price a little bit (cost will still ALWAYS matter).
And MSPs should also investigate providing cloud-based managed security services, if they haven’t already. Cloud technology itself is a more flexible and fast way of delivering IT services, and using the cloud will help MSPs meet client demands for both speed/agility and cloud-based services. IT decision-makers have sounded the call, it’s up to MSPs to respond appropriately.