The vast majority of organizations that have adopted managed
services (89%) are satisfied with their experience and
are seeing significant business benefits, according to a recent
report titled "Trends in
Managed Services" from CompTIA, a non-profit IT professionals'
association. This number includes 56% of managed services users who
are "mostly satisfied" with their service and 33% who are "very
The report, based on a survey of 400 U.S.-based IT and business
professionals, found that more than two-thirds of end user
organizations (68%) contract with at least one managed service
provider. Organizations with revenues of $100 million or more were
the most likely to use managed services, with 78% of companies of
that size saying they use at least one managed services provider.
Companies with revenues between $10 million and $99 million were
only a bit less likely (75%) to use managed services, while just
58% of companies with less than $10 million in revenues indicated
managed services use.
The biggest reason for using managed services, cited by 61% of
respondents as a "major reason" was to save costs. The next most
important "major reasons" for using managed services were "freeing
staff to focus more on core competencies (52%), "gaining access to
most current technologies" (51%) and improving security
Nearly half (46%) of respondents who use managed services said
they have reduced their annual IT spending by 25% or more as a
result of using those services, including 13% who have reduced
their budget by 50% or more. Almost all managed service users said
they had seen some level of IT savings as a result. Fifty percent
said they had saved between 1% and 24% in IT costs.
But although some people might expect these cost savings to be the
result of reductions in staff, the majority of respondents (56%)
said they had not changed their staffing levels as a result of
using managed services-and another 12% said they had no IT staff.
That leaves just 4% of respondents who said they eliminated their
entire IT staff and 29% who said they reduced their IT staff as a
result of using managed services.
Perhaps one of the most surprising results of the study was the
number of managed service providers with whom respondents are
working. More than half (52%) use between two and four providers.
Another 18% use five to nine providers and 5% use 10 or more.
Only 22% of respondents use just a single MSP. But apparently
that's not by choice. Four in 10 respondents said they would prefer
to work with just a single provider, perhaps because they are
looking for the proverbial "single throat to choke." That data
point is of particular note for CHR clients -- customers are
looking for a single managed services provider.
The report speculates that this discrepancy between thought and
deed "likely reflects that a single MSP can't or doesn't always
offer the full range of technology services that an organization
The CompTIA report clearly suggests that managed services are here
to stay. More than half (62%) of respondents said they plan to
increase their IT spend on managed services over the next two
years, with the remainder saying they expect spending to remain at
Not surprisingly, organizations with the highest satisfaction
rates with their current service providers were most likely to say
they planned to increase managed services spending.
Functions that respondents expect to move to managed services over
the next 12 months include security (38%), web site hosting (36%),
network administration and maintenance (34%), help desk/ IT support
(31%) and database management (29%).