After many years of strong growth, is the writing on the wall for the traditional IT Support company?
Well it is if you buy into the sentiment from ‘The Channel Author’ at The Register, Paul Kunert. In his article of 11th March 2013, Mr Kunert predicts a “…make or break year for some IT firms in the declining UK support space…”
This is a view I share and one which I have been espousing for the last eighteen months as cloud services start providing a viable alternative to the traditional IT service model of local servers and the break & fix approach to systems and hardware. But it is not only the large IT firms which are at risk. Hundreds, maybe thousands of smaller IT support organisations who provide an invaluable local service to tens of thousands of SMEs, are finding their margins squeezed as the likes of Microsoft and Google flood the market with low-cost, or even free, services.
The smart ones have already embraced the cloud and started offering managed services around the use of service such as Office 365 and Google Docs, but with the large corporations trying to convince the end user that they can do what they need in the cloud on a self-service model, IT budgets are being questioned and squeezed on top of the general slowdown in the market caused by the economic problems of the last five years.
As a provider of cloud services, I do not want to see the local IT support companies ‘die a death of a thousand cuts’. Such companies are essential allies and partners to cloud providers such as us, for they give us trusted access to a competitive market and they have the skills and the local knowledge of the customer, to ensure that the local SMEs they support, obtain a solution which is tailored just for them, after all, we all know that the ‘one size fits all’ approach to business critical services doesn’t work.
It’s not easy, the IT cake is a big one but it is highly competitive and margins are slender, but with the right partnerships and careful consideration, there is a way that works. So if you are thinking of ditching your local IT support company for a ‘do-it-yourself’ cloud model, here’s my considered opinion: don’t! Speak to them about how you can migrate to the cloud service model at an appropriate pace and in a way that will benefit your business, not hinder it. You may even suggest they call Cloud Heroes to look at establishing a win-win partnership such as those which we have already created with numerous local IT support companies.
You can read Paul Kunert’s full article here… Blighty’s IT support services to decline in 2013, 2014, 2015….