Managed IT at tipping point, CRN MSP Trends Report finds

Douglas Woodburn
clock • 2 min read

Some categories of end user expect their internal IT teams to be managing a minority of their IT estate within five years, according to CRN research

The appetite for managed and outsourced services has grown to the extent that larger organisations believe their internal team will on average soon be managing less than half of their IT estates.

That's according to CRN's inaugural MSP Trends Report, an abbreviated version of which can be viewed here). The full report is available only to CRN Essential subscribers.

The study asked 258 UK IT decision makers at small, medium-sized and large firms to estimate what percentage of their IT estate is currently managed by a third-party IT provider, or providers. They were then asked them to predict what that figure will be in five years' time.

On average, respondents expected the figure to rise from 36 to 48 per cent, with large enterprise with 1,001 to 10,000 heads on average anticipating that in five years the percentage will break through the 50 per cent mark (see graph).

The move to cloud, along with skills shortages and the increasing complexity of IT, were among the drivers cited.

Respondents were also invited to give detailed feedback on their attitude towards outsourcing IT versus keeping it in-house. Despite the headline figures, many indicated they are bringing functions back in-house, mirroring the current malaise towards large-scale outsourcing that saw Carillion go under and Capita slump to a £513m annual loss. 

"We were outsourced and the service was so awful that we have been unsourced and it has improved drastically," said one respondent at a healthcare organisation with 251 to 1,000 staff, who predicted their outsourced services proportion would fall from 33 to 27 per cent over the next five years.

Managed services providers we spoke to for the report, however, argued that they are a direct beneficiary of the current woes of the larger outsourcers.

John Pepper, managing director of Milton Keynes-based MSP Managed 24/7 (pictured), said clients are now more likely to plump for a halfway house of a "hybrid services model".

"We are seeing a move to customers wanting more modular services experts," he said. "Rather than taking everything outsourced, businesses are choosing particular services companies to do particular things, be that security, be it in tools, so wrapping around automation around existing teams."

To read an abbreviated version of the report, click here.

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