SMBs Value Innovation In Outsourced IT Support, Study Shows

A new study shows small and midsized businesses value innovation over all other factors when it comes to choosing to work with outside IT firms, according to CompTIA.

Michael Cusanelli, Associate Editor

March 11, 2015

3 Min Read
SMBs value innovation when working with IT firms
SMBs value innovation when working with IT firms.

Deciding to partner with an outside IT firm can be a big decision for many small and misized businesses. Many of these businesses don’t have the time or money to waste on ineffective business relationships. This is where channel partners can jump in and provide assistance, but one question still remains: What do these local mom-and-pop shops value in outsourced IT support?

A new study shows small and midsized businesses value innovation over all other factors when it comes to choosing to work with outside IT firms, according to CompTIA.


The study, titled “Enabling SMBs with Technology,” surveyed 500 SMBs in the United States in December to discover the most likely reasons these businesses would contract outside IT firms.

CompTIA said 46 percent of SMBs look to outside firms to gather expertise and new opinions on solutions, and are more likely to switch IT firms if that company lacks innovative technology solutions.

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More than 70 percent of companies surveyed said they had utilized an outside IT firm at least occasionally over the past 12 months, mainly for services such as repairs, troubleshooting, installation and integration.

“IT firms that want to maintain their relevance with SMB customers must move from the management of isolated technology pieces to management of the overall structure,” said Seth Robinson, senior director, Technology Analysis at CompTIA, in a statement. “By doing so they are better positioned to drive technology decisions that align with the customer’s business needs.”

Additionally, two-thirds of SMBs surveyed said they also hope to increase their annual technology budget, and nearly half said they would be inclined to increase their total budget if presented with innovative solutions for new business processes from IT firms. Currently, two-thirds of companies surveyed spend less than $100,000 a year on technology, with 29 percent spending less than $10,000.

For IT firms looking to draw attention from new SMB customers, CompTIA suggested they focus on several key areas of their businesses, including improved web design, cloud computing and analytics. IT firms who broaden their web presence beyond that of a standard website are likely to attract new customers, as well as those who work to develop their cloud service portfolios. Finally, putting an emphasis on data analytics is expected to help differentiate IT firms and could lead to renewed interest from SMBs looking to better understand their systems, according to the study.

“Through education, training, business credentialing and other tools, solution providers can improve their odds of success in a rapidly changing SMB landscape,” said Nancy Hammervik, senior vice president, Industry Relations at CompTIA.

By putting in the time and effort to differentiate themselves from the competition and invest in innovative solutions, CompTIA believes many IT firms can attract new business from SMB customers and cement themselves as experts in their chosen fields. However, these firms will need to work hard to prove themselves worthy of the hype, especially if everyone is competing for the same slice of the SMB pie.

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About the Author(s)

Michael  Cusanelli

Associate Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Cusanelli is the associate editor for Penton Technology’s channel properties, including The VAR Guy, MSPmentor and Talkin' Cloud. He has written articles and produced video for and is a graduate of Stony Brook University's School of Journalism in New York. In his spare time Michael likes to play video games, watch sci-fi movies and participate in all things nerdy. He can be reached at [email protected]


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