More SMBs to invest in tech support

by Sohini Bagchi    Feb 12, 2013

tech support

Evolution of new technologies such as mobility and cloud and their increased adoption by the enterprise are creating a complex environment of support needs. Although enterprises of all size are using technology relentlessly, Small & Medium Businesses (SMB) have a greater need for tech support because most of them do not have a strong internal IT team and their IT infrastructure requirements in most cases are very different from that of large enterprises. So as small business IT landscape becomes more complex and robust, so do their technical needs. This trend will drive the growth of the SMB tech support market.

In the US SMB segment alone, tech support market will grow at a CAGR of 14 percent from 2012 to 2016, states a recent Parks Associates report. The report predicts by 2016, adoption of cloud services, growing network complexity, and BYOD trend will drive the demand for sophisticated tech support solutions with the market expected to grow to around $25 billion from the current $10 billion.

Likewise, the Indian tech support market is also expected to grow manifold, with SMBs driving this segment, believe industry experts. Cloud services including, collaboration, CRM, data backup and storage will be areas where small and medium entities will continue to invest as far as their tech support needs are concerned.

The IT service providers are also cashing in on this opportunity to cater to the needs of the burgeoning segment. A recent Gartner report points out that IT services market in India is estimated to reach $10.2 billion in 2013, a 12 per cent increase from an estimated $9.1 billion in 2012. A chunk of this growth will come from SMBs, besides government and large enterprises.

“The technical support services market in India is still dominated by the unorganized sector. After the warranty period, SMBs have the option to send their desktop PCs or laptops to a local services shop or to an OEM service center. The first option is largely unreliable while the other one is expensive. Most OEM warranties only last a year and don’t cover battery replacements and software. A lot of consolidation is required in this segment,” says Soumitra Dasgupta, Senior Manager at NASSCOM.

Gartner sees managed services and remote monitoring to drive the tech support market in the next 2-3 years. Dasgupta believes whether it’s about servers, workstations, mobile devices or data hosting, there should be specialized technical support that has to be delivered in a proactive and comprehensive manner.

Srinivas Anapinidi, CIO, CSS Corp says there will be newer opportunities for tech support and service providers in addressing complex integration issues with advanced solutions as enterprises will migrate to the cloud to reduce infrastructure spend. They need to change their service models in accordance with the change in technology adoption in SMBs.

Moreover with mobility becoming the norm and a growing number of SMB employees hitching on to the BYOD bandwagon, there is a greater need for specialists in the support and services industry, says Anapinidi. Tech support vendors should emphasize on channel partner programs on education and training.