CompTIA study: MSPs gearing up to add more services

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 21, 2016 10:30:05 AM

Managed service providers are ready to expand. A full 59 percent of the 400 U.S.-based MSPs surveyed by CompTIA plan to increase the number of managed services they provide. Managed print services (32 percent), help desks (31 percent), virtual desktops, and database management topped the list as providing the most opportunity to deliver more services to both new and existing customers alike.

Not too long ago, managed service providers (MSPs) came in two forms. There was a small cadre of MSPs that focused exclusively in enterprise accounts. At the other end of the spectrum was an aspiring group of MSPs trying to service small-to-medium (SMB) accounts. The CompTIA survey would suggest that the latter group is finally coming of age.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

IT service providers start to see financial daylight in the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 12, 2016 10:19:19 AM

For some time now IT services firms across the channel have been struggling with transitioning their business models to the cloud. While recurring revenue generated via the cloud is more profitable in theory, providers of IT solutions that previously ran on premise now face a host of challenges ranging from how salespeople get compensated to cash flow issues that stem from how they recognize revenue.

The good news is that a new survey of 150 leaders across the IT channel spectrum conducted by Nintex, a provider of workflow automation tools, suggests that many more solution providers are finally making the transition to a cloud-first business model.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How certification costs are driving investments in IT automation

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jul 7, 2016 12:00:00 PM

In theory, IT services firms that have more certified engineers on staff are supposed to be able to promote that fact to gain additional business. In reality, most end customers are more interested in successful track records than they are in the number of certifications held by the engineers working on behalf of the IT service provider. The challenge, of course, is that for better or worse the compensation model for IT engineers is frequently wrapped around the number and type of certifications an engineer can acquire.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How global IT services firms will react to Brexit

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 28, 2016 10:22:36 AM

It’s difficult to say what impact the decision made by voters in Britain to exit the European Union (EU)—otherwise known as Brexit—will ultimately have on IT services firms that operate globally. But if that decision stands, two things are almost certain. Once the UK is no longer a member of the EU, the talent pool available to IT services firms headquartered in the UK will shrink because they'll no longer be able to leverage IT professionals who can freely move between jobs in the European Union. It will also be much harder for UK firms to hold onto those IT professionals because as the English pound weakens the cost of living in Britain is going to be much higher than most other places in the EU.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Time to focus on customer renewal rates in age of the cloud

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 23, 2016 12:53:35 PM

When it comes to selling IT solutions in the age of the cloud, the biggest change for IT service providers is the emphasis that needs to be placed on customer renewal rates for services that are sold as a subscription. Historically, IT services providers almost always focused on the initial transaction. Renewals of software licensing contracts were an afterthought because most providers were rewarded for their efforts upfront. Now most of the deals in the age of the cloud involve subscriptions where vendors and partners get compensated over the course of one- to three-year contracts.

The vendor, however, still has to invest in the core technology to deliver the service. For that reason, most providers of cloud services are underwater for the first year of a subscription contract. They generally break even on the second year and then begin to make a reasonable return on the third year. As a result, cloud service providers need to have a fanatical emphasis on customer renewal rates in order to succeed.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

It's time to face the digital business fear factor

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 21, 2016 10:31:41 AM

A new report from the Harvard Business Review (HBR) suggests that the majority of businesses today are about to be on the receiving end of the disruption being created by the rise of digital business.

Sponsored by IBM, “The Ecosystem Equation: Collaboration in a Connected Economy” finds that even though more than half (52 percent) of the business executives surveyed acknowledged that substantial portions of their revenue streams are being threatened by digital disruption, only 18 percent said they are participating in a connected economy to a significant extend.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How IT services providers can address a $2.7 trillion productivity gap

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 16, 2016 12:00:00 PM

One of today's economic mysteries centers on why after years of investment in IT the average worker is actually less productive today than they were before the great recession that occurred earlier this decade. In fact, economists have come to refer to this trend as the “productivity gap,” which they say is having a $2.7 trillion impact on the gross domestic product (GDP).

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Topics: IT Services Trends

A $1.7B ecosystem emerges around containers and microservices

Posted by Mike Vizard on Jun 2, 2016 9:13:41 AM

With the rise of containers and microservices, a whole new ecosystem surrounding “cloud native” applications is starting to emerge. In fact, a new report from Codenvy produced in conjunction with The New Stack says venture capitalists have already poured more than $1.7 billion into this ecosystem.

The report identifies 104 projects from 67 different companies that are now making container-related products, and about of a third of those (35) came to market in the past year. Navigating this ecosystem, which spans everything from container infrastructure to continuous delivery platforms, is a fairly complex endeavor for most IT organizations.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

How deploying operational IT intelligence as a service can help MSPs

Posted by Mike Vizard on May 31, 2016 12:00:00 PM

When most IT professionals think about Big Data, their minds naturally turn to Hadoop. But for many IT service providers, the most immediate opportunity for building a managed service may have little to do with Hadoop. Instead, massive amounts of machine data is now being natively captured in a repository developed by Splunk specifically optimized to provide operational intelligence to IT organizations.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

Infographic: Work and Lifestyle Habits of IT Professionals

Posted by Raj Khera on May 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM

MailerMailer, makers of IT marketing automation tool Presstacular, recently took an informal poll of a couple hundred IT professionals and created an infographic that I think you’ll enjoy.

Here are some quick highlights: We found that more than 75 percent of IT professionals work more than 40 hours a week. Most of them have a hard time unplugging for downtime, too. More than 87 percent reported that they work during vacations, and 90 percent of IT business owners work on weekends.

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Topics: IT Services Trends

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