India Remote Managed IT Services Market is Expected to Excel in 2012

Indian small and medium businesses are gradually moving up the technology ladder in a bid to improve business process efficiency and emulate their larger counterparts in terms of technology adoption...

Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs, firms with up to 999 full-time employees) are gradually moving up the technology ladder in a bid to improve business process efficiency and emulate their larger counterparts in terms of technology adoption.

Indian SMBs face a challenge vis-à-vis technology management though, with only one in four of India small businesses (SBs, companies with up to 99 on staff) employing a full-time, internal, IT professional dedicated to managing their technology infrastructure. The situation is much better for the medium business segment (MBs, companies with 100 to 999 employees). Here more than eight in ten MBs have dedicated internal IT employees; however their main focus is on routine maintenance issues rather than strategic IT management.

Remotely managed information technology services (RMITS) is the new growth engine in the arena of IT services for India SMBs. According to AMI, the RMITS market share in 2012 shows a considerable 28% year-over-year rise. In fact this increase is more than double the growth rate displayed by on-premise IT services within the same period, indicating that future growth opportunities for IT service providers lie within this domain. Of course, a majority of service providers also prefer to operate with a mixed portfolio of services---a combination of on-premise and remote modes. AMI research corroborates the same from an end-user perspective—over one-third of India SMBs prefer to receive a combined module of services.

“A key driver for the growth of RMITS is the fact that it provides India SMBs with hassle-free IT services from an expert IT service provider, reducing their dependence on in-house IT staff,” according to Dev Chakravarty, Manager of Research at AMI. “Our discussions with these SMBs revealed that they prefer this mode due to its speed and efficiency.” Further, a clear ecosystem is developing enabling greater adoption of RMITS. Various players are entering the market to take advantage of the huge latent opportunity in this space—e.g. traditional value-added-resellers, system/network integrators, hosting service providers with a datacentre infrastructure, telecom players, ISPs et al. Even a few IT hardware providers are joining the fray.

“Another interesting factor enhancing the usage of RMITS is the changing mindset of newer-generation SMBs—especially startups,” continues Mr. Chakravarty, “where decision makers are much younger and highly Internet dependent mainly due to relations with global firms. Twenty-four/seven connectivity is a necessity rather than a luxury for them. Consequently they try their utmost to avoid downtime and stoppage of operations due to ICT infrastructure failure and delay in the arrival of engineers from IT service providers. This is the primary reason that they favour RMITS, since such challenges are easily alleviated through remote monitoring and resolution.”

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