Technology Support Resellers make it easier for small and mid-sized businesses to monitor, manage and maintain their IT networks and equipment through managed services. By being involved as a third-party, technology Value Added Resellers (VARs) offer managed services for these businesses which provide a host of benefits for them- lower costs, increased available resources and reduced IT headcount are just a few of the benefits. But this is exactly what businesses have failed to understand and this is exactly the biggest barrier to VARs as they look to sell managed services to SMBs, says a study released by CIT Group, a provider of vendor financing solutions.

Out of more than 100 executives (at technology VARs and technology channel partners that sell to SMBs) who were surveyed, the research report, “Technology Channel Outlook: Are SMBs Ready to Embrace Managed Services” prepared in association with Forbes Insights found that 62 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that their customers do not understand the benefits of managed services. This consequently made 49 percent of those surveyed believe this lack of understanding is the leading barrier they face in trying to sell the benefits of managed services to SMBs. Overall cost (37 percent) and the desire of SMBs to maintain their own infrastructure (37 percent) followed as other hindrances.

Smaller companies see technology as a necessary expense, and not a strategic investment; this is what made 43 percent of the respondents believe reduced costs to be the most compelling benefit of managed services for SMBs. The ability to free up resources to focus on other aspects of the business (37 percent) came second while reduced IT headcount was held responsible by 33 percent of the respondents.

The survey also found that cloud-computing solutions is making it easier for VARs to sell managed services to SMBs. Two-thirds of respondents agreed that the popularity of the cloud has made it easier for them to sell managed services to SMBs, all thanks to the increasing familiarity of the customers with the concept of software as a service.

Which technologies will have the greatest impact among SMBs over the next two years? 51 percent of respondents answered this question with cloud computing, 21 percent answered it with tablets and smart phones got the support of 15 percent of the respondents. Fifty-two percent (52 percent) of respondents also believed that tablets would replace laptops for most executives and 24 percent believed that all applications and data storage would migrate to the cloud.

The study has found that managed services programs by VARs which clearly articulate the offering and quantify the impact for the SMB are the most successful. Likewise, SMBs also have much to gain from those services.

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