BOSTON, Jan. 8, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- OnForce, the #1 source for on-site tech talent – which frequently surveys IT service businesses and technicians to get a pulse on where the market's headed – is predicting a year of tremendous change for the IT field service industry. The most notable change: how IT service businesses structure and manage their workforces.
"The IT service industry is changed forever after five years of economic turmoil, and a lot of really hard lessons learned," said Peter Cannone, CEO of OnForce. "As IT service businesses rebound and rebuild – they're restructuring with efficiency, flexibility, and mobility at the forefront."
Prediction #1: Enterprises and SMBs will struggle to find and retain full-time IT talent – as more technicians join the independent workforce.
Competition for top-notch techs is heating up, making it harder than ever to fill full-time positions. In fact, close to 43 percent of the 86,000 tech jobs listed on tech job board Dice.com in November 2012 were for contractors.
The drivers behind this growing population of independent IT contractors are clear:
- More companies are adopting a hybrid IT service model to effectively manage variable demand, and mitigate the financial impact of full-time techs waiting for work – creating a tremendous market opportunity for independent contractors.
- The pace of tech innovation requires fast access to device- and network-specific experts making it cost prohibitive for most IT services businesses to have all of these experts on staff, all of the time.
Even as the market rebounds – this new, hybrid workforce model will remain. A recent OnForce survey of hundreds of IT service technicians found that 56 percent of those who willingly joined the independent workforce wouldn't go back.
Prediction #2: Windows 8 will make or break Microsoft's stronghold on the market. (More likely... break it.)
Entrenched leaders in the smartphone and tablet markets are leaving Microsoft in the dust -- regardless of the massive advertising budgets allocated to the Surface Tablet and Windows Phone 8 campaigns.
When it comes to service technicians' use of Windows phones, only one percent use phones that run on Windows 7 or 8, according to an OnForce survey earlier this year. On service appointments, 77.1 percent of techs use Android or iPhone devices.
Perhaps most troubling for Microsoft, however, is a recent report from Gartner that claims that tablet purchases by businesses will grow 3x by 2016 for enterprises, shaking the company's stronghold on the enterprise market, and eclipsing PC sales this year.
For Microsoft, 2013 is a make or break year. Their success in mobile devices will dictate how much longer Microsoft stays top-dog in the enterprise.
Prediction #3: IT service companies will be forced to re-think service delivery, in the face of increased pressure for faster-than-ever fixes.
The need for instant gratification has carried over from consumers to business owners. For service companies, that means a collective re-think on delivery. Raising the bar in the consumer arena is Amazon which is currently experimenting with same-day delivery in select cities; with UPS and eBay following suit.
While these new programs are increasing pressure on employees and suppliers, companies know that they've hit the cost wall, and there's very little fat left to trim to improve margins. As a result, 2012 ushered in a transition from price competition to service-based competition.
Finding ways to improve the service buyer experience -- for businesses and consumers -- are critical. The ability to offer faster, better service offers a key competitive advantage and will move front-and-center in 2013.
OnForce is the #1 source for on-site tech talent in field services in the cloud. By partnering with OnForce, service buyers can connect with thousands of highly skilled service professionals to fulfill on-site work throughout the US and Canada. With more than two million service events completed, OnForce is a proven and trusted solution. Service buyers can gain extensive geographic coverage, lower service costs, extend skill-sets, and generate new streams of revenue on demand. The company supports more than 20 IT and CE categories, such as computers, printers, networking, VoIP, Point of Sale, and more. OnForce is the partner in service. For additional information, please visit www.onforce.com.