Rapid development of technology increases interest in managed services

The majority of companies in Sweden think it is difficult to follow today’s rapid technological developments. Interest in leasing functions for telephony, data communications and PC workstations has increased as a consequence. According to a new Telia survey, four out of ten companies believe that it will become more common to lease managed service functions during 2006.

Telia’s survey, which polled more than 2,000 people at companies all over Sweden, indicates that there is a strong interest in purchasing functions. Many companies consider it an advantage to have a fixed cost that can be budgeted, instead of having to hunt around for the lowest price service. The results of the poll were confirmed by a recently conducted “IT-Barometer” survey on the outsourcing of services. In this survey, one out of four enterprise managers considered managed services as their primary option for improving their IT support function.

“During the past year, we have seen a strong increase in demand for purchasing functions instead of individual services and products. This marks a breakthrough in the outsourcing of managed services. Companies have realised that managed services function well in practice and they make it easier for them to focus on their core operations,” says Anders Tillander, key account manager for large enterprises and the public sector at TeliaSonera Sweden.

Companies in the survey that had purchased managed services have mainly been able to reap the benefits of reduced costs, efficiency gains and other major advantages by having access to external expertise. Another important reason for the breakthrough in managed services is that technology has developed rapidly and IT systems have become increasingly complex in nature. In Telia’s survey, six out of ten companies stated that that it is difficult to keep up with today’s rapid development of technology. Six out of ten also considered it an advantage if they did not have to maintain their own competence in IT and telephony in-house.

“A number of customers have testified to this,” says Anders Tillander. “We are seeing a change in behaviour in which customers are no longer considering IT and telecom as separate services and are instead having a common view of communications, which is enabled by IP-based services. At the same time, this also makes these issues more complex and increases the interest of companies in managed services to ensure the best communication solutions.”

According to data from IDC, sales in the Swedish managed services market totalled approximately SEK 17 billion in 2005. The market has steadily increased over the past few years and is expected to continue growing between 3 and 5 percent in the next few years.

About the surveys
The companies polled in Telia’s survey on managed services have been taken from Telia’s customer database for enterprises. A total of 2,161 persons participated in the survey, which was conducted in the form of a web-based survey from January 30, 2006 to February 3, 2006. The IT-Barometer survey was conducted by Excido International AB and companies selected for the survey all had more than 200 employees. A random number of companies with fewer than 200 employees were also selected. The total number of respondents was 484. The poll was conducted in the form of a web-based survey from June 17, 2005 to August 29, 2005. The results of the surveys (in Swedish only) can be found in the Press Archive at www.teliasonera.se.