By Ally Kutz, contributing writer
According to the study IT Opportunities in the Professional Services Vertical, 78 percent of accounting, law, and marketing firms rate technology as important in reaching business objectives. The research by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry, also revealed of the 600 U.S. professional service firms polled, a significant percentage indicate spending on IT hardware, software, services, and telecom will increase: 21 percent of accounting firms and 18 percent of law firms say they plan to increase IT spending by 10 percent or more by the end of the year.
Of the firms surveyed, just a little more than one-third report that they are using managed IT services — with the most reasons cited for not outsourcing IT as “lack of need,” “concern over cost,” and “inability to find an appropriate provider.” Most firms said they have IT experts on staff; however, many also acknowledge a technology skills gap exists — a concern for 40 percent of respondents is a gap in cybersecurity expertise. Other areas that are reported lacking are cloud computing (38 percent), social media (36 percent), IT support (35 percent), and Web presence (35 percent).
Cybersecurity is a top concern among all companies surveyed, with the majority stating the issue has the attention of executive leadership. Specific concerns include data breaches, threats to mobile devices, and managing cybersecurity compliance.
CompTIA includes conclusions and recommendations in the report; managed services providers (MSPs) should, for example, help clients achieve interconnectivity across devices — cloud, mobile data, social media, and automation.
The report also stresses the importance of providing value regardless of whether the professional services business you are working with is just deploying technology or has technology engrained throughout its processes. The report states, “IT solution providers that can deliver the appropriate technology offering at the appropriate level will be best suited to meet the needs of customers regardless of where they are on the adoption curve.”
For more on the study, visit CompTIA’s IT Opportunities in the Professional Services Vertical.