Infotech Lead India: Remotely managed information technology services (RMITS) is the new growth engine for IT services for Indian SMBs.
The RMITS market share in 2012 shows a considerable 28 percent year-over-year rise, according to AMI Partners. This growth is more than double the growth rate displayed by on-premise IT services within the same period, indicating that future growth opportunities for IT service providers lie within this domain.
Technology adoption in Indian SMBs is growing thanks to their drive to improve business process efficiency and emulate their larger counterparts in terms of technology adoption. However, reports say that only one in four of India small businesses (SBs, companies with up to 99 on staff) employ a full-time, internal, IT professional dedicated to managing their technology infrastructure.
In the case of medium businesses (companies with 100 to 999 employees), more than eight in ten MBs have dedicated internal IT employees; however their main focus is on routine maintenance issues rather than strategic IT management.
“A key driver for the growth of RMITS is the fact that it provides India SMBs with hassle-free IT services from an expert IT service provider, reducing their dependence on in-house IT staff,” said Dev Chakravarty, manager of Research at AMI. “Our discussions with these SMBs revealed that they prefer this mode due to its speed and efficiency.”
Another trend is the emergence of a clear ecosystem consisting of various players that want to take advantage of the huge latent opportunity in this space, including traditional value-added-resellers, system/network integrators, hosting service providers with a datacenter infrastructure, telecom players, ISPs et al. Even a few IT hardware providers are joining the fray.
RMITS growth is also fueled by the changing mindset of newer-generation India SMBs — especially startups where decision makers are much younger and highly Internet dependent mainly due to relations with global firms.
“Twenty-four/seven connectivity is a necessity rather than a luxury for them. Consequently they try their utmost to avoid downtime and stoppage of operations due to ICT infrastructure failure and delay in the arrival of engineers from IT service providers,” Chakravarty said. “This is the primary reason that they favor RMITS, since such challenges are easily alleviated through remote monitoring and resolution.”