Survey finds providers gaining customers, embracing cybersecurity, automation
The market for managed services continues to strengthen, with opportunities for providers to bolster their capabilities in such areas as cybersecurity and automation, according to a survey by IT management software vendor SolarWinds.
The Lowdown: The survey, published Monday in conjunction with The 2112 Group, also found that MSPs were able to better retain customers in 2019. The 2112 Group is the parent of Channelnomics.
The Details: The annual report, based on data from SolarWinds’ MSP Pulse benchmarking tool, is designed to give IT providers information on the MSP market in North America and Europe, potential growth opportunities, and areas for improvement. It also can advise organizations on where to invest in their businesses.
The key findings in the report, 2019 Trends in Managed Services, include:
> Cybersecurity basics: MSPs in both North America and Europe are comfortable using and offering such basic security measures as antivirus (89% in North America, 93% in Europe), firewalls (83% and 82%), data backup and recovery (81% and 82%), endpoint security (75% in North America), and antispam (80% in Europe).
> Complex security solutions: MSPs in both regions were less comfortable with such offerings, with the top three for both being biometrics, cloud access security brokers (CASBs), and digital rights management.
> Cybersecurity services: North American and European providers were uncomfortable with auditing and compliance management (53% in North America, 39% in Europe) and penetration testing (47% and 52%). In North America, respondents also said they were not comfortable with security system architecture (39%), while European respondents pointed to risk assessments (36%).
> Automation: MSPs in both regions are comfortable automating routine tasks like patch management and backup, which saves North American MSPs 15.6 full-time employee hours a week and their European counterparts 23 hours. In North America, they’re less comfortable automating advanced tasks like client onboarding (44%) and identity and access management (IAM), at 38%. In Europe, they’re uncomfortable with automating SQL query workflows (57%) and also with IAM.
> Customer retention: In 2018, MSPs lost almost as many customers as they gained. Last year, North American MSPs picked up, on average, four clients every quarter, while losing only one. In Europe, the rate was three new clients every two months while losing just more than one during the same time.
> Customer loss: The top reasons: The customer went out of business (26% in North America, 16% in Europe) or was fired by the partner (25% and 16%).
The full report can be seen here.
The Impact: In an IT world that’s increasingly decentralized, adapting to such trends as the cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT), and complex cybersecurity issues, and embracing such advanced technologies as data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, organizations are turning to managed services. In addition, channel partners are offering more managed services to address the demand. Information from such sources as SolarWinds’ survey can give partners the information they need as they expand their managed service offerings.
The Buzz: “Our research has revealed that 97% of respondents offer some form of managed services, which is a clear demonstration of the managed services transformation remaking the technology channel. It’s safe to say the state of managed services is strong,” said John Pagliuca, president of SolarWinds MSP. “This latest research also underscored the major growth opportunities we’re already looking to help our MSPs leverage, including automation, security, and operations. With our customer success-focused initiatives like MSP Pulse, the MSP Institute, and Empower MSP, we’re supporting partners with much more than technology. We’re working to fuel the success of our MSPs in 2020 and beyond. The future looks bright for those who want to expand their comfort zone, and we’re here to help them do just that.”
“We’re so pleased to be partnering with SolarWinds MSP again on the annual Trends in Managed Services report,” stated Larry Walsh, CEO of The 2112 Group. “It gives MSPs an opportunity to see where the IT channel currently stands, where the opportunities are for growth, and where they could improve as it pinpoints the crucial trends shaping the managed service market.”