How Can ITSPs Maximize Billable Hours?

What does it take for an IT service provider (ITSP) to optimize its billable hours? Here's what you need to know.

Dan Kobialka, Contributing writer

March 28, 2016

2 Min Read
Patrick Burns Autotask39s vice president of product management
Patrick Burns, Autotask's vice president of product management

Billable resource utilization remains a top priority for many departments within IT service providers (ITSPs), according to a recent survey of 1,100 ITSPs conducted by professional services automation (PSA) software provider Autotask

The survey, titled “Metrics That Matter 2016,” indicated finance was most concerned with billable resource utilization.

Also, the survey showed, service/help desk and project management ranked billable resource utilization second among its most emphasized metrics, while executive management rated it third. 

“While it’s good to have utilization in the 80 [percent] to 90 percent range based on expertise, paid time off and administrative tasks, other factors impact profitability,” Autotask wrote in its report. 

Profitable time trumps billable time, Autotask said, so ITSPs with the most billable hours do not always win. 

“Profitability by contract and service are where the game is won or lost in the long term,” Autotask noted. 

Maximizing billable hours requires ITSPs to focus on several key areas, including:

  • IT service delivery — Autotask pointed out that addressing IT service delivery issues around efficiency and success measurement can help an ITSP optimize its profits.

  • Service portfolios — ITSPs should review their service portfolios and provide options for endpoint management and security, Autotask noted, along with solutions that enable customers to leverage cloud environments.

  • Service levels — With consistent revenue growth, ITSPs will be able to make investments to improve their service levels. 

Patrick Burns, Autotask’s vice president of product management, added ITSPs can focus on being “vertically integrated around endpoints” to help customers operate safely and efficiently within an expanding network of endpoints.

“We’re moving to a device-centric world, and providers who can help customers drive value around the growing use of devices will be a profitable part of that world,” he said in a statement. 

What are your thoughts on billable resource utilization? Share your thoughts about this story in the Comments section below, via Twitter @dkobialka or email me at [email protected].

Send tips and story ideas to [email protected].

About the Author(s)

Dan Kobialka

Contributing writer, Penton Technology

Dan Kobialka is a contributing writer for MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. In the past, he has produced content for numerous print and online publications, including the Boston Business Journal, Boston Herald and Dan holds a M.A. in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and a B.A. in English from Bridgewater State College (now Bridgewater State University). In his free time, Kobialka enjoys jogging, traveling, playing sports, touring breweries and watching football (Go Patriots!).  

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