IT Priorities 2022: MSP importance rising

TechTarget research reveals that a record number of customers across Europe are looking to work with managed service providers

TechTarget has shared the results of its latest IT Priorities research, which quizzes hundreds of customers across Europe, with it clear that more are leaning on managed service providers.

The headline finding was that 86% are looking to work with an MSP next year, up from the 75% in 2021, which takes that level to a new high.

Drilling down into where support was being looked for from partners, the list was topped by security/risk management and then followed by datacentre, cloud, backup, monitoring and software development.

The list of where customers would invest was wide, and also included unified comms, IT asset management, customer experience and edge computing.

Security has come to the fore during the coronavirus, with workers being targeted at home as they operate outside the protection of the traditional corporate network. More than half (57%) felt the pandemic had made it even more important to secure data in 2022.

The threat of ransomware has garnered miles of column inches this year, and is firmly on the radar for customers, with 59% indicating that they are looking to purchase technology that can help reduce risks against that type of cyber attack.

Customers also indicated that dealing with the future of work is also going to be an area of investment in 2022, with a quarter aggressively spending on technology to support hybrid working.

Prospects for next year

The channel has consistently expressed confidence around the prospects for next year, with many looking to wrap up a strong 2021 and keep the momentum going. That is also echoed at a customer level, with the IT Priorities findings pointing to a recovery that will come in at or above pre-pandemic levels. Many of the projects that were stalled because of the pandemic have been restarted.

That shift to hybrid working and the increased use of MSPs is being facilitated by a wider adoption of the cloud, and 39% of European organisations indicated to TechTarget that they now describe themselves as “cloud-first” and are investing aggressively.

The TechTarget findings echo some recent research from Dell, which found that priorities for IT spending from customers over the next five years would be security, cloud and 5G.

Speaking last week on the release of its report, Dayne Turbitt, senior vice-president and general manager of Dell Technologies in the UK, said customers were facing big challenges.

“British businesses continue to grapple with the two biggest existential threats they’ve faced in decades: the pandemic and cybercrime,” he said. “It’s not surprising that responding to both remain top priorities.

“However, if British businesses are to be competitive in the global digital economy, investment in edge computing and artificial intelligence needs to start now.”

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