SMBs put off outsourcing by cost, loss of control

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SMBs put off outsourcing by cost, loss of control

Ian Grant

Outsourced IT services are too expensive for most small and medium British businesses, and most fear loss of control, according to market analyst Datamonitor.

Datamonitor found just 25% of 500 UK SMBs surveyed willing to use outsourced services. "The key areas for outsourcing are security and e-mail. Only a small minority of SMBs can see a time when their IT function is fully managed," said Aphrodite Brinsmead, author of the study.

Customer service and service performance are top priorities when choosing an IT supplier or partner. The respondents said they are more likely to pick a national internet service provider or telecoms provider for managed services, with local or specialist providers seen as a last resort.

No supplier dominates the SMB market. For example, for network services, SMBs mentioned more than 100 different suppliers. However, mroe than 70% buy their telephone services from BT, and BT also appears to be the most popular supplier for network services and managed server hosting. However SMBs are least satisfied with their telephone and mobile suppliers.

"The two key reasons for not having servers managed in a secure datacentre are cost and loss of control," said Brinsmead. "The fact that many SMBs are unaware of the outsourcing options available to them may stem from vendors having previously overlooked them."

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