ARN quizzed Perth-based IT service providers on the main issues impacting business in 2016.
A new report estimates that potential economic impact of disruptive digital and internet technologies on the Western Australian economy in 2025 could be more than $76 billion per year, representing about 25 per cent of the gross State product.
But following discussions with local partners, the overriding consensus remains that MSPs within Western Australia are facing difficulties during the downturn in the resources sector, with challenges ahead for IT service providers trying to stay ahead in a competitive local market.
Adam Garnaut - CEO, Core IT
"The cost of Cloud services have plummeted since it became mainstream - hosting services have also come down dramatically in the last few years.
"So with that, are the costs of support services and that will come down too. Then we’ll have to look at what additional value we’re going to be able to provide - do we integrate email as a service or hosting services into our service delivery?
"We’ve got to do more with less and prioritise the time we spend with our clients to be as pro-active as possible to limit the reactive work we do, which is the most costly.
"Focusing on our pro-active management, thinking in the way of new technologies will keep us profitable well into future.
"We’ve got to deliver smarter, more reliable services at a similar or lower rates.
"There’s a lot more work towards professional services, which is a big push away from the mining sector.
"We’re getting a lot of feedback from companies that used to work within the mining sector that are looking for other opportunities and want to expand their product into different markets.
"I’m not sure what the IT support and services industry is going to look like in five years. There’s going to be a change, I’m not sure what that is, but I think the IT industry has to go through a massive revolution in either the way IT is delivered or the way that users and our clients are expecting their support."
Zaun Bhana - Managing Director, Leap Consulting
"For us staying relevant in the market and continuing to differentiate is our main focus.
"With the local economy moving away from mining across the state we have seen a lot of businesses shrink or worse, go under.
"At the same we have seen the IT services market mature and shift in line with customer expectations who are looking to embrace efficiencies and cost savings.
"We are noticing vendors are also gravitating and pushing partners to have their own unique IP combined with a strong marketing and sales focus.
"The big issue then is putting all of that together and delivering across the board while simultaneously hitting all of your targets."
Kim Sinclair - Managing Director, Enable IT Service
"Managed services providers globally are having to constantly adapt to changing customer requirements.
"Perth is undoubtedly going through a faster than usual period of change as companies who are directly affected by the resources downturn seek additional efficiencies.
"We expect this process to continue for at least the next few years which will make it very difficult for some MSPs.
"However change is good and those that engage with and embrace this change, will thrive. How a successful MSP will look two years from now is unclear but generally it will involve broadened offerings and increased relevancy."