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MSP Day: Growth expected but security concerns rising

Research around the annual MSP Day event indicates there are a lot of positives in the managed services world, but fears of security regulations are widespread

The managed service provider (MSP) community is feeling positive about the prospects for the year ahead as the channel marks another MSP Day.

The annual event, now in its fifth year, is not just a moment to pause and consider the contribution made by managed service players, but also an opportunity to go through research that provides an update on the state of the market.

The main finding in the latest Evolving landscape of the MSP business report is that those at the coalface are expecting decent growth throughout the rest of 2022. MSPs indicated that they expect revenues to grow by a third this year – in monetary terms, that looks like an average of $12.12m this year, compared with $8.93m in 2021.

There are also signs that the portion of revenues that the channel gains from services is continuing to rise, growing to an expected 63% this year, compared to 53% at the previous MSP Day.

The shift was not only seen in the breakdown of revenue, but in the commitment of the channel, with those quizzed now on average offering four services, and 94% expecting that number to rise to six. That compares sharply with the position of just a few years ago when cloud players would complain that most MSPs only carried one service.

The latest report also picked up on the theme of security and concerns around regulations. Since the previous MSP Day, the government has stated it is looking to tighten up supply chain security and will be looking to penalise MSPs that fail to protect data.

The report echoed this statement, and found that only 36% of MSPs were confident they would be fully compliant. High numbers (89%) accepted that they needed more education and support around the cyber security issues. However, there were also signs of weariness, with 36% complaining that there were already too many regulations.

MSPs have worked throughout the pandemic to support customers and are now trying to make sure their own businesses have robust defences against cyber attack, which is leading to rising concerns of employee burnout. More than half ot those quizzed for the report reported that their staff were dealing with stress.

MSPs are seen by customers as the answers to their services and data protection needs, but there was an overwhelming feeling that more support from vendors was required within the managed service community. 

Almost all of those that contributed to the report (98%) admitted having at least one area where they could benefit from more vendor support. The sort of things that MSPs wanted more help with included security incident response planning, hybrid working best practices and marketing support.

“The annual MSP Day and report is vital to properly understanding the concerns and ambitions of our partners,” said Jason Howells, vice-president of international sales at Barracuda MSP.

“One of the most important things we can do for our channel partners is to keep asking the right questions, which enables us to identify where they need our help the most. The interactions we have on MSP Day are a critical part of achieving this as they give us the opportunity to address the points raised in the report and act on what our partners tell us,” he added.

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