Only one-quarter of small and medium businesses are working with a managed services provider focused on management, monitoring, and support. Three-quarters of small and medium businesses only engage IT support in the event of an issue where reactive service is called for. In other words, 3 out of 4 SMBs lack internal IT AND ongoing IT support.
If you are a managed services provider, this is great news, right? 75% of your potential client base is operating day to day with absolutely NO ongoing IT support! All you need to do is get in front of this massive pool of potential clients, demonstrate the value of ongoing managed services, and start signing contracts for that all-important monthly recurring revenue, right? Woohoo!
Slow down. Of course it isn’t that simple. Offering clients comprehensive IT care that includes monitoring, management, and support of IT assets may be a great business model now, but that’s changing. While all business owners realize that risk mitigation is in their best interests, paying an extra recurring charge for complete risk prevention is a different beast entirely. Technology evolves quickly and the services and solutions required to support that technology evolve just as quickly. What we currently think of as “traditional managed services” may not exist long enough to capture the remaining 75% of the market that looks so attractive at the moment.
The key question is this: if the market for managed services and external IT support is so vast and full of opportunity, why is the rate of adoption of IT services by SMBs in almost every sector not accelerating? Sure, large enterprises are finding new and innovative ways to leverage technology, but smaller organizations are lagging far behind. Are the value proposition and benefits of managed services not getting through to these potential clients? Or is the problem larger than that? Is the challenge not coming from the client’s side of the equation but rather from managed services providers themselves?
The reality is that traditional managed services seek to ensure the client’s IT infrastructure does not create inefficiencies in the organization. In other words, IT support and service right now is about making sure the client can operate “business as usual.” Making sure workstations are properly protected and servers are updated and patched makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, these services don’t help clients move into the future; they only serve to prevent problems from the past. Once malware has been removed and data is being backed up, how do you demonstrate your ongoing and continuous value to the client? Furthermore, if a prospect’s IT assets have been working at an acceptable level in the past, why should they pay you anything to make sure those assets continue working the same way they did before you came along? Can you show them exactly when the next challenge is coming that will affect their business operations? Can you pinpoint exactly how much more expensive it will be to fix a problem compared to preventing it?
Managed Services in the future will look substantially different then the range of services offered now. While current offerings are focused on preventing future mishaps, the future of managed services will be about offering solutions that have a demonstrable and quantifiable return on investment for businesses of any size. Instead of telling a prospect, “Remember that time your server failed and you spent two days getting it back on line? You probably would have preferred to be doing the job you were hired to do instead of acting like an IT technician,” you will have to demonstrate exact future value.
Your solutions can’t just keep the status quo operating at full efficiency, but rather, will require you to advance the organization into the future. Cloud configurations, custom productivity applications, remote desktops, and more readily available secure connectivity should be in your portfolio of services if you truly intend to help your clients grow in to the future. Presentations will include you saying, “This solution will increase your billable hours and here is how…” or “This solution will reduce the amount of time it takes for you to collect money from your customer and here is how…” That’s the way of the future.
Click here to learn how Mosaic NetworX is already providing solutions and services that move small and medium businesses into the future!