European MSP Market Shows Growth but Variability

By Casey Houser

According to a recent report from IT Europa, a business intelligence analysis firm, the European managed services market grew at a rate of 8.5 percent last year. On the surface, this is good news for all managed service providers (MSPs) because their industry appears to be hot and holding the course.

The IT Europa “Managed Service Providers in Europe - Top 1000” report notes that the top (1000) companies in the market employ a total of about 1.6 million people and deal about $390 billion in revenue each year. They handle a number of business concerns such as network and security management. And of the 34 countries represented in the report, the large part of them seem to be doing well.

Alan Norman, the managing director of IT Europe, even points out that business clients are embracing managed services because their own customer demand continues to rise. In short, the clients that cannot handle their own customer influx as well as their network security, for instance, are passing the buck to some of these Top 1000.

All of that information veils a reality, though, that amid the overall growth of the industry lies a few red flags. This is not unlike most other industries; no market scores all A-pluses in its path toward the future of business operations. The only point that TMC wants to make here is that the whole picture shows something a bit more diverse than a headline may reveal.

The biggest red flag is the variability in how market growth rate changes per country. Remember: this report deals with individual countries inside a single continent, so the change from the leading counterparts (Bulgeria at 33 percent growth) could seem strange next to the losses in others (Spain, which saw its MSP demand decline) because all smaller units of the whole could show that same pattern if analyzed in a similar way in other market reports.

Often, readers here will see growth of a market on a global scale and note that the individual continents involved – because there are only a handful to choose – will all show current growth and be expected to continue that pattern. What IT Europe shows here is that same type of result but with the fine grains revealed.

The smaller markets of Bulgeria, Slovakia, and Turkey appear to carry the continent with their double-digit growth while many other larger countries such as France, Germany, Netherlands, and U.K. bring down the average with more modest figures. Then the outliers of Russia and Norway, which may be considered large and established markets, pull the overall figure back upward with their own admissions of double-digit growth.

What results is the mixed bag of solid growth in Europe as a whole where MSPs offer network, server, security, storage, and application management in addition to telecom and print services. Network management comes as the most popular with 86.5 of MSPs offering that type of service; only 13.2 percent provide managed printing. It appears likely that all these assets will come in even higher demand as more countries improve their offerings and more customers continue to inundate businesses of all markets with their thirst for products.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

Contributing Writer

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