Our business has been around since the mid-90's. Over the past two years we have noticed that a greater number of end-users are now solving their issues without the need for paid support services. Our residential client base has dropped significantly, while some of our business clients who used to have contracts with us have opted for incidental support options. We are not a hardware support company that offers repair of iPhones, etc... We provide managed services for our clients specializing in data backup and recovery, asset tracking and management, help desk support, vendor management, etc...
Some of the decline in business could be a result of the economy, but a good portion of this may be the result of free or extremely inexpensive online services. Furthermore, some of the big ISPs such as Comcast are offering IT support to residential and business customers, which could result in an even greater loss of business.
The increased use of mobile devices and services such as Drop Box, Mozy, Carbonite, etc... has also had an impact on us. The iPad, to the best of my knowledge, cannot be remotely controlled using Bomgar, LogMeIn, etc. A good number of residential users only have mobile devices because they're only checking email and Facebook. Our fear is that there could be a trend with application providers toward moving their services from server installed options on the client site to cloud-based solutions. If the customer's data is no longer onsite, there is no need for our data backup services.
We are getting hit on several fronts which include:
Data Backup and Offsite Storage
end users can take advantage of Carbonite or Mozy
Remote & Onsite Support
end users can either rely on their latest college intern or pay for services from the Geek Squad and other services
end users are opting to eliminate preventive maintenance and will only call when there's a problem
To compensate for the loss of business in the areas mentioned above, we have become an IT concierge of sorts. For example, we have begun managing some of our clients' building access systems. We also handle access to domain, VPN, email, and legal / medical applications. But we are looking for other opportunities so that we can expand and secure our position in the market. If anybody is willing to offer suggestions, or share "lessons learned" in regards to the above, we would love to hear them.