Even with average service costs that actually increased from 50 percent more to nearly double other IT services, VoIP was among the fastest-growing IT service categories during the second quarter of 2008, according to the second quarterly State of the IT Industry Report from OnForce, the online marketplace for IT services professionals.
According to the report, the fastest-growing IT service categories were consumer electronics, point of sale (POS) and voice-over Internet protocol (VoIP). OnForce attributed the growth in these categories to a continued increase in the large rollouts of technologies such as POS kiosks, flat-panel TVs and wireless networks. The report noted that the adoption of such technologies in stores, restaurants, hotels and schools represents a tremendous growth opportunity for VARs and solution providers that have nationwide coverage “to grow their businesses by bidding on rollouts, projects and managed service contracts in these categories.”
Released Thursday, the report — which is based on data from work orders from more than 1,000 VARs, solution providers and IT service firms during the period April 1 through June 30, 2008 — examines real-world transactions and trends from the OnForce marketplace and offers a detailed snapshot of the services industry for the second quarter of 2008. The report also provides data comparisons to the first quarter report.
During the second quarter, the average service costs for most IT service categories rose. VoIP/telephony, security, and wiring and cabling were the highest of all categories. The report’s authors stated that it wasn’t VoIP’s ranking as the most expensive service that surprised them; it was that relative to other categories, VoIP work is actually getting more expensive, with hourly rates that are now nearly double the average. Costs for the least expensive categories — point of sale, printer and software — actually declined during the second quarter. As a result, VoIP work was nearly three times more expensive than service in the printer or software categories.
“By analyzing the large volume of service events completed through OnForce, we can learn a great deal about the current state of the IT service industry,” said OnForce CEO Peter Cannone. “This report confirms come prior trends, but also highlights the emergence of several new ones. By using our market data to inform their investments and decisions, our customers are able to focus on those hot spots that offer the greatest volume, growth and margin.”