Survey Results: VARs Tap More External IT Resources In 2011

Outsourcing More IT

An exclusive CRN study has found that solution providers are utilizing more third-party IT resources to complete work because they have concerns about a sustained economic recovery.

The following slides illustrate some of the findings of the survey:

Contractors For Hire

More than 60 percent of the 106 VARs surveyed hired external IT workers to work on behalf of their company in 2010, indicative that VARs have become more comfortable letting outsiders do work when and where the need arises.

No Time For Full Time

VARs said the top reason they use external technical staff was because they don't want to or can't hire additional full-time staff right now. They also cited lower costs and not having the necessary skills in-house to perform the work as big reasons.

Outside Help Increasing

More than 62 percent of the VARs said they expect to use more external IT resources this year than they did last year, again indicative that VARs are comfortable letting non-employees work with their customers.

Satisfied Feeling

Nearly 80 percent of VARs said the work being done by outsiders was done in a satisfactory manner to both them and their customers. An approval rating like that could explain VARs planning to leverage more outside help this year.

More Resources

VARs said there are more IT resources available on a contract basis now than there were before the recession. It's possible that many of the additional techs were let go during the recession and have been unable to find full-time work, or may find working on a freelance basis better fits their lifestyle now.

Quality On The Rise

VARs said the skill set of IT contractors has increased compared to before the recession, though the results were closer to 50-50 than other questions in the survey.

Some Are Hiring

Just over half of solution providers surveyed said they plan to hire additional technical staff in 2011. Anecdotally, several VARs told CRN that they're unsure of a sustained economic recovery and don't want to take on full-time staff in case demand decreases.

Hiring Impacts Contractors

More than 60 percent of VARs said that the addition of internal technical staff would affect how much they used external IT resources this year.

Help From Friends

VARs using external IT resources most often utilize resources from an existing or long term relationship. They're also apt to use someone recommended by a customer or person they trust.