Small Business Tech Support: Small Target, Big Market

This report looks at the opportunities for technical support in businesses ranging in size from SOHO to 99 employees. Demand for sophisticated tech support solutions is expanding as small businesses adopt new and complex technologies, such as cloud services. This report looks at the opportunities presented in areas such as help desks, virus protection, security, hardware and software proactive monitoring, and new Tier Zero support. It also includes forecasts for tech support revenue trends through 2017.

“Businesses of all sizes have been relentless in their adoption of new technologies,” said Jim O’Neill, a research analyst at Parks Associates. “They have acquired new hardware and often allow the use of employees’ own devices, creating a complex environment of support needs. Throw the cloud and its various services into the mix, as well as the need of SMBs to curtail their expenses, and you have a perfect storm of opportunity for companies that can provide 24/7 help desks, remote software and hardware support, and the occasional site visit. Tech support, especially for very small businesses, is approaching a boom phase.”

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Download Table of Contents (PDF)

The Bottom Line

Dashboard

1.0   Introduction

1.1 Key Questions Addressed

1.2 Scope

1.3 Data Sources for this Report

1.4 Company Briefings for the Report

2.0   State of the Market

2.1 Defining the SMB Market

2.1.1    The Evolution of the Small Business Market

2.1.2    Very Small, or MicroSMBs

2.1.3    Non-employer firms

2.1.4    Nonprofits and Charities

2.1.5    Number of locations

2.2 Definition of the Technology Environment

2.3 Hardware and Equipment Spending

3.0   Major Tech Support Issues Facing SMBs

3.1 Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

3.2 Supporting the Network

3.3 Moving into the Cloud

3.4 Additional IT Issues Facing SMBs

4.0   The Challenge of Selling SMB Tech Support

4.1 Refining and Educating the Market

4.2 Recommendations and Reputations are Key

4.3 SMBs Turn to Independent Tech Support Firms

4.4 Business Models are Evolving to Reach SMBs

4.5 Low-Hanging Fruit for Service Providers

4.5.1    Cox Communications Tech Solutions Program

4.5.2    Comcast’s Signature Support

5.0   Forecasts

5.1 Forecast Methodology

5.2 Computer Set-up

5.3 Technology Support

5.4 Technology Support Subscriptions

5.5 Server Support

5.6 Backup Services

5.7 Summary of Support Service Revenues

6.0   Implications and Recommendations

6.1 Implications

6.2 Recommendations

Glossary

Index

SMBs in the U.S. that employed 1-99 persons
Annual Business Start Ups in the U.S.
Number of Employees
Annual SMB Revenue
Non-Employer Firms in U.S.
Annual Revenue for Non-Employer Firms
Number of Non-Employer Firms by Receipts
Size of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations
Number of Office Locations
Average Number of Computers and Printers
Average Annual Amount Spent on IT Equipment and Services
Spending for Ongoing IT Support Services
The Unique IT Support Needs of SMBs
iPad Sales Help Make BYOD a Hot Topic for SMBs
SMBs Monthly IT Problems
Hours Lost Resolving IT Issues Per Occurrence
Professional IT Support Service Type
Comcast Signature Support Plan
Forecast Methodology
SMBs Likely to Buy Computer, Software Installation in the next year
Key Assumptions: Computer Set-Up
Percentage of All SMBs that Paid for Tech Support
Key Assumptions: Computer Support
SMBs Interested in a Support Subscription
Key Assumptions: Support Subscriptions
SMBs with Servers
Key Assumptions: Server Support
SMBs Using Hosted Backup Services
Key Assumptions: Hosted Backup Services
SMB Tech Support Services, Annual Revenue

Publish Date: 4Q 2012

Pages: 59


Authored By:
Jim O'Neill - Research Analyst

© December 2012 Parks Associates
All rights reserved.  No part of this book may be reproduced, in any form or by any means, without permission in writing from the publisher.

Printed in the United States of America. 

Disclaimer
Parks Associates has made every reasonable effort to ensure that all information in this report is correct.  We assume no responsibility for any inadvertent errors.

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