Thursday, February 07, 2013

SMB tech support market will achieve double-digit growth through 2016

New research shows 14.4% CAGR for SMB tech support 2012-2016

Parks Associates today announced new SMB (small-and-medium-business) technical support research showing network complexity, growth of cloud services, and BYOD (bring-your-own-device) trends will help drive the U.S. market to a 14.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) between 2012 and 2016, reaching nearly $25 billion by 2016. 

Small Business Tech Support: Small Target, Big Market, a new report from Parks Associates, reports there are nearly six million U.S. firms with 1-99 employees. Nonprofits and non-employer firms also account for a large part of the market potential; the U.S. non-employer segment will reach nearly 24 million in 2013. The new research shows 45% of U.S. SMBs with 1-20 employees have paid for tech support at least once in the past year, but as the SMB network gets more complicated, many current solutions are inadequate.

"Many tech support providers have offered SMBs a product that was, essentially, a consumer solution on steroids," said Jim O’Neill, research analyst, Parks Associates. "But as SMBs have become more dependent on 24/7 uptime, tech support providers are responding with more robust offerings. Ideally, these new products are delivered by companies that already have relationships with SMBs: service providers like ISPs, cable companies, and telcos. Tech support is a great source of incremental revenue for them and also helps keep their services sticky.”

Parks Associates SMB Tech Support Research

Increasing network and connectivity complexity and the emergence of cloud storage and application adoption will drive the SMB tech support market to develop more robust solutions. For example, Comcast recently rolled out its tech support product “Signature Support” targeted at small businesses, and IBM expanded its Managed Vendor Support Services (MVSS) to support SMB. Cox Communications plans to deploy an SMB version of its residential product Cox Tech Solutions this year.

Cloud services popular with SMBs include collaboration, data backup, storage, and CRM, according to Parks Associates. SMBs value migration to the cloud as a way to reduce software and hardware spending, but integration can be complex, opening new opportunities for tech support providers that can address these issues.

SMB employees are also increasingly bringing their own devices into the workplace, and the introduction of this technology, particularly Android-based tablets and smartphones running a variety of apps, creates new challenges in network maintenance.

“Education will continue to be a major component in tech support for small businesses, especially for those microSMBs that rely heavily on uninterrupted computer function but encourage BYOD to save costs,” O’Neill said. "Small business owners can spend up to 20 hours a month solving IT issues. Support providers need to develop tools that target those lost hours."

Small Business Tech Support: Small Target, Big Market looks at the opportunities for technical support in businesses ranging in size from SOHO to 99 employees.

Visit or contact, 972-490-1113 for information.

About Parks Associates: Parks Associates, a woman-founded and certified business, is an internationally recognized market research and consulting company specializing in emerging consumer technology products and services. Founded in 1986, Parks Associates provides business intelligence and research services through its proprietary methodologies developed over decades, including quarterly surveys of 10,000 internet households.

The company's expertise crosses many industries: home security and smart home, streaming video, broadband and pay-TV services, digital media and platforms, gaming, Wi-Fi and home networks, connected health, support, consumer electronics, home control systems, energy management, and tech solutions for the multi-dwelling (MDU), small-to-medium business (SMB), and commercial building markets.

Each year, Parks Associates brings thousands of leaders together for its webinars and annual events. The firm hosts the annual executive research and strategy conferences CONNECTIONS™, Connected Health Summit, Smart Energy Summit, Smart Spaces, and Future of Video.

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