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Managed service providers (MSPs) are embracing automation in a bid to improve their efficiency and opportunities to increase revenues with a focus on margin-rich areas.
The 2023 MSP benchmark report from Kaseya has lifted the lid on the current views of the managed service community across the globe
The headline findings centred on the desire by 90% to use automation to pick up the strain of the common processes, liberating time to give customers more customised support.
The report also underlined the ongoing importance of security to the MSP community, both protecting their own data as well as customers, with 65% of respondents finding that they were being called on more often to deliver advice on the topic for users.
“This report drives home the importance of automation and integration to make MSPs more productive, efficient and profitable,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer and general manager of security products at Kaseya.
“Cyber security will continue to be a pressing issue, and MSPs will need to be up to speed on their security offerings to keep pace with SME demand,” he added.
The report also revealed a desire by many MSPs to increase integration to exploit the benefits from connecting processes across the business. A high number (90%) of respondents agreed that integration between core applications was critical to their business, lowering chances of duplication and bloated systems.
Improving integration was not just an ambition emerging from a desire to indulge in some digital transformation, but a necessity to solve problems that riddle many MSPs. The report found that, at the moment, 39% of respondents saw one of the biggest obstacles to business growth as the inability of technicians to fully take advantage of software usage. There were also hopes that sorting problems out would cut costs and drive productivity.
Outside of the main themes of automation, security and integration, the Kaseya report also touched on some of the other issues concerning MSPs.
Just over half of MSPs reported that break-fix is still the number one activity, helping with hardware problems and access issues; but when it came to revenue, subscription-based managed IT services were the clear winner.
Challenges identified going forward included acquiring more customers and dealing with security threats, with MSPs increasingly in the firing line of cyber criminals.
On the positive side, there are signs that the supply chain issues that have plagued the channel over the past couple of years are finally levelling off, with the number of people reporting it was still having a significant impact on the business dropping from 35% to 28% in 2023.
The MSP market has also been a magnet for M&A specialists, and Kaseya’s quizzing of channel executives indicated that is set to continue. The report found that 51% wanted to get involved with acquisitions, and a portion of those viewed it as an essential part of their growth strategy.