Small Businesses Planning to Spend More on Managed IT Services in 2016

January 20, 2016   //   News

Small Businesses Planning to Spend More on Managed IT Services in 2016

Small businesses are less than satisfied with their IT solution providers, but close to 40 percent said they plan to spend more on IT services this year, about four times greater than the percentage that will spend less, according to the results of a survey by a B2B research firm.

39 percent of the businesses surveyed by Clutch said they plan to spend more on IT services in 2016, with most of that group forecasting a jump of 11 to 30 percent. On the other side, just 10 percent of the companies plan to decrease spending. (Among the rest, 48 percent say spending will be flat compared with 2015 while 2 percent are not certain what they’ll spend this year.)

“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,” Susie Cummings, vice president of managed services and infrastructure solutions at SWC Technology Partners, based in Oak Brook, Ill.  – No. 456 on CRN’s Solution Provider 500 list – said in the Clutch statement. As their infrastructures age, she added, “software becomes outdated, or new threats are introduced, they are looking to new solutions. This continues to drive demand.”

In a separate interview with IT Best of Breed, Cummings said that with many of SWC’s customers, there’s “so much dependency on IT” that the clients’ IT organizations find it tough to recommend a solution and seek a services provider with better knowledge to help them.

Most Small Businesses Have IT Service Contracts

Software implementation and management is slower to move to the newer model, with 51 percent of businesses still working with service providers on a break-fix basis, Clutch said. Cummings supported those findings, saying that SWC has “definitely” become engaged in more managed services contracts for about nine years, with some businesses asking it to handle more work.

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A lot of customers are updating (their) websites and apps” to be more mobile-friendly, Cummings told IT Best of Breed, although she added that SWC does not see a lot of custom app development.

But Cummings said SWC has heard more talk about DevOps, a strategy businesses use to deliver new software functionality more quickly by bringing together developers and IT operations professionals to work together on projects from start to finish, rather than just on parts of them.

Gartner, in fact, has predicted that DevOps will evolve this year from a niche strategy used by large cloud providers to a mainstream strategy employed by 25 percent of the world’s largest organizations.

Cummings said she “definitely” sees DevOps emerging in the IT space.

This article originally appeared on CRN’s IT Best of the Breed website.