A recent study conducted by CompTIA, the nonprofit association for the IT industry, finds that companies using IT managed services are seeing significant cost savings. But I've got to wonder: Are managed services really about cost savings -- or is the real benefit predictable business operations for both the customer and the MSP?

According to the CompTIA study:
  • 46 percent of managed IT service users have cut their annual IT costs by 25 percent or more.
  • 50 percent of managed IT service users have cut their annual IT costs between 1 percent - 24 percent.
But cost savings appears to be a bonus in this case. Over half of the companies surveyed said they use managed IT services so that they can free up their own internal staff to work on revenue-generating projects. So generally speaking, companies using managed IT services are saving money and making money on the back end with more dedicated staff to work on business-related jobs. No wonder 62 percent of those surveyed said they plan to increase their commitment to managed services

Even more positive -- the study finds that the cost savings is not adding any hardship to businesses using managed IT services. In fact, 89 percent of managed IT service users said they are very satisfied or mostly satisfied with their experience when it comes to performance and up-time, contract terms, secure environments and the ease of adding new services to their IT infrastructure.

For an MSP, the key to having highly satisfied business customers appears to be providing those customers with steady reports. Of those companies that are highly satisfied with their managed IT services, 75 percent say their managed service provider gives them regular activity reports of their IT environments so that they know about any problems that may exist.

On a related front, CompTIA in September reported that managed print services also are on the rise.