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Managed service providers wondering what the theme of this year might be probably won't be too surprised to discover it concerns security.
The explosion of endpoints has created a bit of a nightmare for those trying to keep enterprises safe and it also causing those delivering IT services with plenty to think about.
A survey from Autotask, which collated the thoughts of more than one thousand global MSPs found that coping with endpoint management was the main concern for most.
the Autotask research also revealed that a growing number of MSPs have turned to the cloud as the backbone that would help them manage and secure endpoints.
The silver lining to the endpoint challenge is that once an MSP has got themselves in a position to deal with the problem the revenue opportunities should be greater.
“Our device-centric world is increasing the number of endpoints that ITSPs need to secure and manage. This will only increase in years to come as the realities of a remote workforce that requires access to data and files on any device anywhere becomes the norm,” said Patrick Burns, vice president, product management, Autotask.
“Based on the results of this year’s survey, it’s clear that service providers realize the critical need to prioritize how they manage and secure endpoints. This is a significant revenue opportunity for them. By ensuring networks of communication are running smoothly, [MSPs] will also be in a position to play a more strategic, trusted role with end-clients," he added.
The service provider benchmarking survey also threw up some other insights into the current MSP landscape with client renewal rates increasing in comparison to the year before.
The survey also found that 80% of It service providers are recruiting new staff with vacancies in service desk, sales and project areas.
That ambition to grow staff could cause some problems, particularly if they are required to have security skills, because of the shortages in that area.
The other fly in the soup is around the professionalism of service delivery. The survey found that just shy of a quarter of those MSPs quizzed did not measure response times and a third did not know their SLA first-response times.
Potential worries about service delivery come at a time when demand from customers for managed services is increasing and those not quite up to speed will need to improve quickly to ensure they don't leave users feeling frustrated.