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MSP Day 2021: Remote working and security top opportunities

The fourth MSP Day shines a light on where service providers expect growth to come from

The dawn has broken on the fourth annual MSP Day, with it clear that users are reaching out to managed service providers (MSPs) to help them be more secure in a Covid-ravaged world.

Research released by Barracuda in conjunction with MSP Day has underlined just how important security has become and how many in the channel are still operating a hybrid model as they make a transition to the managed services model.

According to The evolving landscape of the MSP business report 2021, 80% of MSP respondents felt security was a significant business opportunity and 90% saw services to help with remote working as a growth area.

SME customers were increasingly looking for MSPs to help them with their security needs and to deal with the increasing complexity of IT.

The research also underlined that although the MSP model was growing in popularity, many in the channel were still taking a hybrid approach. Barracuda found that 59% of respondents expected services to account for 50% or more of their revenues this year, with 39% saying they expected to generate up to 50% of their overall business through services.

Jason Howells, vice-president of international sales at Barracuda MSP, emphasised that security and remote working were the main areas of interest to MSPs this year.

“It is clear that security is what’s driving the interest and the need for managed service providers today. Some 80% of the respondents felt that security was the biggest opportunity for them in the near future,” he said.

“Security and remote working go hand-in-hand. We saw everybody move extremely quickly to remote working, and what comes with that, unfortunately, is a huge amount of security risk”

Jason Howells, Barracuda MSP

“Security is driving people to start to look at MSPs because small businesses just don’t have the expertise, the knowledge and the know-how,” Howells added.

“Remote working [is also] a big opportunity for many service providers. They [security and remote working] go hand-in-hand. We saw everybody move extremely quickly to remote working, and what comes with that, unfortunately, is a huge amount of security risk,” he said.

“There has never a better time to be in and around the managed service provider space. The opportunity going forward is huge. Pick the right partnerships, get yourself educated in the right way and know what’s happening in and around security, and that will set many service providers up very nicely to take advantage of what is coming.”

The value of the MSP world has not only been recognised by customers, but also by private equity firms, with a flurry of investments being made so far in 2021. Howells said that trend demonstrated a wide appreciation for the managed services model.

“The market is buoyant with activity in terms of consolidation and investment in this space, which is really exciting for all of us. It is another reason for us to be celebrating,” he said.

Previous MSP Day research has highlighted the need for education and Howells said it continued to be important for MSPs to strike the right relationships.

“There has never been a better time to be an MSP in my opinion, and I’m sure that’s the opinion of many. [The MSPs need to] choose the right partnerships with the right vendors, because the vendors have a responsibility to make sure we’re providing things that are extremely relevant right now,” said Howells.

“Information and education is something we have to take responsibility for into the MSP community to allow them to keep their customers up to date and up to speed and give them a reason to invest, particularly in and around security,” he added.

Security in demand

This year’s Evolving landscape of the MSP business report from Barracuda MSP highlighted some of the key security services that are in demand:

• Endpoint security
• Email security
• Network security
• Server security
• Endpoint monitoring

 

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