Clutch Survey Shows Trends in Managed IT Services for Small Businesses

January 20, 2016   //   News

Clutch surveyed small business owners in the US to determine the popularity of IT service providers in the small business (SMB) market. The survey also addresses spending trends and satisfaction ratings.

Key Findings:

  • The majority of SMBs (69%) hire at least one type of IT service provider, and there is significant room for growth. 39% of SMBs with IT service providers plan to increase their spending in 2016.
  • 59% of IT services have transitioned from the traditional break-fix model to a managed service contract
  • IT service providers have lower client satisfaction ratings than B2B service industry benchmarks

The surveyed group consists of 402 respondents with decision-making authority or influence on IT spending, representing companies with 1-500 employees.

Spending on IT Services in 2016

39% of SMBs with IT service providers plan to increase their spending on IT services in 2016.

SMBs continue to see the value in IT services, and many will expand their investment in them as new challenges arise.

This [increased spending] trend has been visible in the last 12-24 months. Businesses are realizing the benefit of technology investment in terms of enhanced capability, efficiency and productivity. As their infrastructure ages, software becomes outdated, or new threats are introduced, they are looking to new solutions. This continues to drive demand.

– Susie Cummings, VP of Managed Services and Infrastructure Solutions, SWC Technology Partners.

Client Satisfaction Ratings for IT Service Providers

Our study measured customer satisfaction using the Net Promoter Score (NPS), which is derived from the question: “How likely is it that you would recommend your service provider to a friend or colleague?”

The NPS scores reveal less than average satisfaction with IT services compared to benchmarks. Generally, business-to-business (B2B) companies average a 20 to 25 NPS, with B2B professional services firms often topping out at 30+. In comparison, IT services firms in Clutch’s study averaged a 13 NPS.

There are several explanations for the low NPS.

One factor is that smaller, specialized IT services firms may lack the ability to deliver strategic, top-level recommendations for their clients.

“Some companies feel that their current IT service provider isn’t able to recommend, implement, and support the technologies required to run a business today. Emerging technologies like cloud, mobile device management, and next generation security solutions can add complexity to the conversation. Many smaller service providers may not have the capability, expertise or scale to drive those conversations. Our customers are looking for IT advisers – a virtual CIO who can sit at the table, understand the business drivers, and lead the roadmap process to deliver technology to support those goals.”
– Susie Cummings, SWC Technology Partners.

The 2016 Small Business IT survey originally appeared online at: