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MSP Day: Progress made but more to be done to widen SME appeal

The first MSP Day has come with research showing the progress of the channel to deliver services but highlighted a mismatch with what SME buyers want to buy

Those of a frugal disposition will have kept the bunting up from the weekend's Royal Wedding festivities to celebrate the first MSP Day.

The focus of the 23 May is to recognise the success and importance of those providing managed services as well as signalling the current state of the market.

Research from Barracuda MSP, The Evolving Landscape of the MSP Business, timed to come out today to provide a context for the event has shown that the majority of SME customers are now buying some form of managed service.

The headline finding was that 95% of the UK channel now offers managed services and 83% of SMEs are using them.

But, the industry has work to do on the education front to make sure that there is more widespread adoption and questions about trust are eased. There is a mismatch between the services that are offered by MSPs and the ones that SMEs actually want to use.

“On the surface, it’s logical that the desire to reduce capex whilst increasing efficiency, coupled with the need to overcome a lack of available skills internally to battle mounting security threats, would prompt many to turn to managed services,” said IT analyst Clive Longbottom.

“Although the research reveals cost reduction as the biggest motive behind opting for managed services, I’ve warned in the report that any relationship with a supplier should not be purely driven by upfront perceived cost savings,” Longbottom said.

“Effective cost savings will come through the MSP meeting the business needs against multiple areas, such as high availability and effective information protection," he added.

Looking ahead the expectation from Longbottom was that the more successful MSPs would be those delivering integrated business-focused offerings that tied together more services exploiting the public cloud.

Those channel players that could deliver that, "while combining the discrete and demonstrable skills of the MSP itself around domain and technical expertise" would be the ones leading the market.

State of the nation

The Barracuda MSP report showed:

• Widespread adoption: 95% of the UK channel offers managed services, and 83% of UK SMEs are using them
• IT channel cites managed services as No.1 revenue opportunity in 2018 and 2019
• Managed service adoption remains narrow. The services most commonly offered by MSPs don’t match the services most commonly purchased by UK SMEs.
• Trust is an issue: 83% of UK SMEs who won’t touch managed services cite lack of trust to handle their data as the reason
• 8% of UK SMEs either never received a contract from their MSP or admit to having never read the Ts & Cs

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