CompTIA revealed findings from its research on the managed services market at a CompTIA Managed Services Summit in Coronado, Calif., this week. The organization polled 332 managed technology users and identified what it says are the five most important factors customers consider when choosing managed services providers.
Twenty-seven percent of respondents said they choose providers based on availability of unique services and offerings. The other most common factors include: the existence of a relationship with the provider, the provider's reputation, availability of around-the-clock support and recommendations from others.
"It isn't necessarily the cheapest offering that customers are interested in," Brian McCarthy, COO of CompTIA, said in a prepared statement. "It's the quality of the service, and whether it's a service that fills the customer's business needs. Opportunities for success are greater for managed service providers who focus on specific market segments, vertical industries or size of customer; or who achieve 'best-in-class' status for specific solutions; and less for those who attempt to be all things to all customers."
CompTIA said that service providers also face the challenge of educating existing and potential customers on technology solutions available as managed services. Fifty-two percent of customers said a lack of knowledge about availability was the biggest factor in preventing them from using more managed services, according to CompTIA's research.
CompTIA is promoting industry growth of managed services through best practices tools for solution providers, educational programs, events and networking opportunities, in addition to researching ways to help solution providers find opportunities for their offerings.