As access to technology across the globe has been increasing exponentially over the past ten to fifteen years, the Information Technology (IT) industry has been expanding with it, both geographically and economically. Between 2009 and 2014, the IT consulting industry grew by more than 4% annually, and between 2010 and 2020 it is expected to grow at a rate of 6.1% each year. It is estimated that the U.S. IT consulting industry has created $363 billion in revenue.
Over the past decade, more companies have outsourced their IT services for financial reasons. In fact, a survey in 2013 shows that nearly 40% of U.S. business were planning to outsource their IT department. But what exactly are IT services, why are they being outsourced, and why are they so important?
IT Support Services.
When you have a problem with your computer, cell phone, or other device, you’ll want to call or email tech support to troubleshoot the issue. These people on the other end of the line, with a seemingly endless wealth of knowledge, are the heroic members of IT support services. They are trained professionals who know the ins and outs of specific types of technology, and are there to help you fix, improve, and/or figure out your device. IT support specialists can help in a variety of ways: They answer questions, ask their own pertinent questions to get to the bottom of an issue, and offer multiple pieces of advice with alternatives in mind. If a problem can’t be easily solved, they will often refer the customer to a higher-level specialist who can better address the situation.
Outsourced IT Support.
Since most IT inquiries are done over the phone or via email, IT support specialists can be located nearly anywhere. One major incentive for a company to outsource its IT department is that it can utilize several IT professionals from all over the world without having to increase payroll expenses. Many businesses actually outsource their entire IT department to another business entirely. This separation allows companies to focus more on their goals and development while maintaining a functional and efficient IT support service at a controlled cost. A business will often acquire managed hosting services to further control this expense.
Managed Hosting Services.
Managed hosting services (also known as dedicated hosting services) refer to a special type of internet hosting that is owned or leased by a client (a company or business) and not shared with anyone else. In other words, it is a secure and more controllable way for a business to provide IT services, as opposed to shared hosting services, through which many clients can operate their IT consulting services and other services. With a managed hosting service a business can choose which operating system to use, which hardware, and so on. This increased control allows companies to provide more efficient and focused IT support services for their customer base.