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Customers looking to MSPs to help consolidate security

The channel is playing a role in helping managed service providers looking to deal with rising costs and a lack of skills

There has been some talk across the industry of economic pressures driving consolidation of security tools, and managed service providers (MSPs) are witnessing that happening on the ground.

According to the latest OpenText Cybersecurity 2023 global managed security survey, the desire to consolidate is being spotted across the industry as users look to make their lives easier and more financially attractive.

The headline findings were that as a result of cost and resource constraints, a majority (86%) of MSPs and MSSPs customers are outsourcing their data protection needs and consolidating security tools.

Many of those managed service players quizzed by OpenText believed that security and compliance tools were merging, which is a response to the demand for a reduction in tools.

The channel reported the main customer challenges included trying to identify cost savings (28%), a need for simplify security programmes (26%) and trying to alleviate the skills shortages and lack of in-house security expertise.

The survey found that SMEs were the most interested in outsourcing data security, infrastructure monitoring and risk reduction to a managed services partner.

“Staffing issues that have plagued the security industry for years are getting worse due to today’s complex economic environment. As a result, already short-staffed teams must find creative ways to do more with less,” said Geoff Bibby, senior vice-president of marketing and strategy at OpenText Cybersecurity.

“With limited time and security resources, simple and effective security must be a priority. MSPs equipped with a comprehensive cyber resilient portfolio of cloud-based data security and data management solutions are uniquely positioned to help clients gain efficiencies without compromising security,” he added.

From an MSP angle, one of the challenges highlighted was the ability to build a solution for customers and the difficulties that vendors can put in the way that made reaching that goal harder. Integrating technology solutions came top of the list of hurdles that MSPs had to overcome, according to OpenText’s findings.

There were signs that vendors had taken that on board and many more were making their partner programmes more supportive of MSPs and MSSPs and providing valuable training for partners. The ability to gain access to marketing development funds (MDF) was still seen as crucial in aiding a partner’s growth prospects.

Those MSPs hitting the mark in the security space indicated that having an ability to provide an on-demand, comprehensive service was what customers were looking for.

MSPs were also asked about their feelings for the year ahead in terms of growth, with 2022 having been a strong year for the majority. Those positive vibes remained on evidence with the market dynamics remaining intact. The same verticals that require data security last year – technology and IT services, financial services and healthcare – continue to demand channel help due to a lack of resources. 

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