July 1, 2010 — The top drivers for using external services providers in the U.S. market are to reduce the operating costs of IT and to ensure IT availability, according to a new survey analysis by Gartner, Inc.

Between November and December 2009, Gartner surveyed 213 U.S. organizations to learn how organizations using externally provisioned IT services have been affected by economic changes. The survey found that 48 percent of U.S. organizations expect to increase their spending with ESPs in 2010. However, the overall trend for U.S. buyers of all company sizes is to move toward adopting maturing technologies with manageable risk.

Although buyers in the U.S. are among the most mature and aggressive users of IT services from ESPs, the impact of the recession can be seen in more cost-conscious behaviors. U.S. buyers now pay less attention to business innovation in IT as a driver for using IT services. Among all company sizes, the survey showed a movement away from aggressive adoption, indicating that the economic crisis has brought more conservatism to technology adoption – the latest, most-advanced technology carries too much risk.

"To capitalize on U.S. IT services opportunities, service providers must have current insights into buyers' 'pain points,' intentions and their expectations from service providers," said Allie Young, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner in a statement.

Gartner’s report can help IT managers self-assess their own behaviors relative to US peers. “For example,” suggests Young, “were there behaviors adopted during the downturn that they should rethink based on the ‘recovering’ economy?”
Other recommendations include monitoring the technology adoption profile to ensure they select providers that can meet their technology objectives: adopters of the latest/greatest technology will want to select providers that bring more aggressive solutions. Highly conservative organizations will want to consider mainstream (or even aggressive) technology adoption as a critical tool for return to growth.

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