Jamie Pearce, Sales Director, e92plus discusses 6 key opportunities for MSPs to grow in 2021.
The current outlook and market opportunities for MSPs is bright – it’s a competitive field, but it’s a sector expected to grow in 2021 above 11%, above most other areas and offers potential for strong margins and building long-term customer relationships. In particular, cloud and cybersecurity services are especially strong while growing a managed service practice (for VARs looking to expand, or for MSPs building their security business), it offers clear differentiation as organisations struggle with the growing skills gap and fast-moving threat landscape.
So how can MSPs identify those key opportunities, and use them as part of their growth strategy?
MSP Growth Strategy 1: Delivering cybersecurity essentials
As identified earlier, security is a key area – and yet for many customers, covering the biggest risk vectors is still a major issue.
Email phishing remains one of the primary security threats facing businesses today. Even relatively sophisticated end users can fall prey. A cybercriminal sends an innocent-looking message branded as an email from a familiar brand like Facebook or LinkedIn, the recipient clicks on a link without thinking about it, and they’re taken to a malicious website where malware can infect the business’s network, or login credentials can be stolen. Content control deployed within a layered security solution is an effective deterrent that MSPs can quickly roll out as a revenue-generating service to their clients.
MSP Growth Strategy 2: Packaging to provide maximum value
Organisations turn to MSPs for monitoring, security and network optimisation, certainly, but often overlooked is that they often rely on their MSP more than anything for expertise. What priorities should we be spending budget on? How should we be approaching security concerns X, Y & Z? Especially for SMBs, having options to choose from clarifies the decision-making process when it comes to prioritizing budget outlays. This holds true for security options every bit as much as it does with spend on hardware, data center and other IT costs. An easy approach is to provide packages based on a good-better-best format, along with additional add-on options for more advanced technologies or services.
For those customers in heavily regulated industries like finance and healthcare, the ability to uncover nascent threats, or perform postmortem testing to understand damage done through recent attacks, is essential, and so a profitable line of business for MSPs.
MSP Growth Strategy 3: Compliance as a Service
With the advent of the EU’s GDPR law in mid-2018 the number of organizations charged with protecting the privacy of customer data increased exponentially. For MSPs, the segment of your customer base on the hunt for solutions to their compliance needs has grown at the same rate. By providing key services that address compliance requirements directly (such as disk encryption) provides a simple box ticked for the customer, and revenue opportunities for the MSP.
MSP Growth Strategy 4: Security as a Service
Endpoint security is one of the most pressing cyberthreats today, with nearly one-in-three IT decision makers planning to increase their spending on the issue in the immediate future. The problem, however, is that many organizations can’t successfully execute on cybersecurity initiatives due to lack of resources; ESG research finds that 45% of organizations indicate that they have a problematic shortage of cybersecurity skills. MSPs are ideally suited to fill this void – and generate valuable new revenue streams – by delivering endpoint detection and response as a cloud service.
Leveraging a cloud-based solution that encompasses security fundamentals (such as endpoint protection) along with security analytics, advanced detection & response and threat intelligence enables the MSP to scale out their service quickly and effectively.
MSP Growth Strategy 5: Managed Security as a Service
The next generation of endpoint security solutions are growing rapidly in popularity, and enable organisations to benefit from enterprise class technology but without necessitating recruitment of expensive teams of analysts. MSPs that can offer Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services on a subscription basis are ideally placed to capture market share as the offerings go mainstream.
MSP Growth Strategy 6: Reduce Costs and Increase Profits with a Single Solution
We’ve discussed the opportunities for revenue growth, but increasing profitability is just as important. Now let’s explore how MSPs can more effectively compete in the marketplace and increase profitability. Vendor consolidation is a key driver for many end-users, and it’s no different for MSPs. With lower upfront costs, lower management costs and more coordinated cybersecurity practices, the greater ease of use and superior manageability associated with layered security will significantly cut work hours for general IT administration. MSPs with layered security will see costs associated with cybersecurity shrinking even while overall revenues grow. In other words, MSPs embracing layered security will become more profitable, and be far better positioned to drive value to their clients in both financial and brand protection terms.
In summary, the market is surging for better security to prevent costly breaches and meet escalating compliance challenges. MSPs that can provide the complete range of security technologies and services to clients will be well positioned to take full advantage of market opportunities and deliver better value. At e92msp, our partner Bitdefender has been helping our community of resellers embrace these growth techniques to great success, and we can see significant opportunities as organisations look to evolve their IT strategy in 2021.
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