IT Service Provider Health Check 2017— ITSP Metrics Still Matter

Guest blog courtesy of Autotask
More: Read the entire Autotask Metrics that Matter research report here.

I always look forward to our annual ITSP benchmarking study (Metrics that Matter). I’ve come to rely on it, like so many of our customers, partners and industry peers, as a first-hand overview of what’s really impacting the way business is moving forward (or stalling) and what big opportunities and revenue drivers are informing business planning and changing business models.

2017 marks our fourth year of doing this survey with Decision Tree Labs and the data we’ve collected from global ITSPs has been invaluable. So, what’s the pulse of more than 1,000 ITSP 2017 respondents? As far as we can tell, it’s in the perfect range, thriving and experiencing growth in all the right places.

Industry Vital Signs 2017

Much like visiting the doctor for a yearly check-up, the study helps us monitor and compare some key vital signs, including renewal rates and project and ticket volume.

Here’s how things measured up in 2017:

  • Project volume: 26+ projects a year increased by 10%
  • Ticket volume: 10,000-100,000 increased by nearly 8%
  • Annual revenue rate: >$5Million has grown by 5% since 2013
  • Workforce: Adding up to 10 people over the next year to accommodate project, ticket increases
  • Renewal rates: 61% reported annual renewal rates of 90% or more

Now, let’s take a quick look at some of the key findings from this year’s survey.

Pay Attention to Security

If we’ve learned anything from earlier this summer, it’s that cyberattacks are to be taken very seriously. Much like sitting too long is being called the ‘new smoking’ of our times, ransomware is the new smoking of the IT world. Clients are demanding better protection of their data and the only way to deliver this is with a smart security program that includes a multi-layered approach to keeping clients’ most important asset—data—safe.

The survey found that security is the #1 priority for clients and the top revenue driver for 44% of respondents this is compared to only 6% of 2013 respondents telling us that IT strategy, process operations or security consulting were a top revenue driver.

Endpoints are the New “Superfood”

If you haven’t added managing and securing endpoints to your business’ diet, now is the time. It’s not enough to protect and monitor the systems and networks. With a mobile world like ours today, it’s necessary to be right at the device level.

63% of respondents said the total number of endpoints they’re managing has increased by up to 50%.

Customer Experience Now Even More Important

The only way to truly stand out and differentiate in a crowded, commoditized market like ours is to put the ‘wow’ in customer service. Playing a strategic, proactive, trusted role is not a goal it needs to be how you operate and deliver services on a consistent, reliable basis. To do this, you need access to great analytics, a supremely talented team and a repeatable, proven process for communicating with clients and collecting their all-important feedback.

This year, respondents cited customer satisfaction rating as the #1 metric they track giving it more credence than even gross profits.

Automation is a Smart Choice for a Healthy Business

What surprises me the most after 4 years of doing this survey is that we are still seeing results like this: ITSPs are wasting up to 10 billable hours each week on manual processes that can be easily automated, such as entering data into multiple systems, scheduling and dispatching technicians, and capturing billable time. Manual tasks like these can negatively impact profitability through lost revenue, cause delays and increase the potential for errors.

There are so many ways ITSPs can help themselves out of this hole. Automating manual tasks is something we have been advising for 16+ years.  While awareness and adoption has grown tremendously, there is clearly still a long way to go and a ton of opportunity for ITSPs to operate more efficiently, create recurring revenue streams and grow, expand to provide even better service.

More: As some of you may know, I have a real passion for data and Metrics that Matter fascinates me. The kind of info ITSPs share with us is useful for the entire industry. My only hope is that we take these learnings and find a way to make even more strides forward. There’s a great deal of more good information detailed in our eBook, I invite you to check it out here.

Guest blog courtesy of Autotask. Read more Autotask blogs here.