The year 2020 represented disruption for the technology and IT services industry, arguably more than any other industry. With businesses struggling to stay afloat in the lockdown, MSPs were at the receiving end of the operational challenges caused while going remote.
Furthermore, Hiring in-house technical staff for adopting every new technology was not feasible for businesses. Hence, the need for adopting new technologies to adapt to the changing business environment also came on the shoulders of service providers.
However, facing and overcoming these challenges was difficult for MSPs. It resulted in a positive shift. The economy-wide transformation to a remote workforce placed the smooth operation of IT services at the center of business success.
Being more instrumental to the business operations allowed MSPs to build closer relationships with their clients. The year 2021 also accelerated many of the ongoing trends, especially the ones that advocated business flexibility. In this article, let us take a look at some of the ongoing MSP trends in 2022.
Most of the MSP trends in 2022 are focused on agility, security, and flexibility. The MSP industry trends for 2022 dictate that service providers must enhance and rethink their services based on changing client demands and changing business environments.
These trends also make businesses aware of MSP features that offer them a competitive edge. Here are 10 MSP trends that you should look out for in 2022:
Growth opportunities in the MSP industry are promising. In fact, Austindale Group Inc, a Tech advisory firm based out of Austin, published an article on MSP Acquisition trends that shed some light on the industry growth.
Then again, instances of consolidation have been seen several times in a mature market. They are a part of the overarching commoditization of networks and connectivity.
One of the primary reasons for this consolidation is that the MSPs wish to offer everything from essential IT maintenance support and cloud solutions to cybersecurity and application integration in one stop. Some MSPs want to boost organic growth and increase their business value by acquiring other MSPs. The clients will surely be one of the winners in this industry consolidation by getting more flexible access to network and cloud services at lower prices.
While many may argue that this MSP trend has been here for some time now, it is on the list because the cloud has inarguably won the technology battle in 2021. Even the tech enthusiasts who preferred on-premises over the cloud because of security, management, and connectivity reasons will agree to this. Because when the world went into lockdown, the cloud solutions and services helped organizations set everything back up virtually.
The hybrid workforce is to stay, even if the fully remote workforce isn’t. Consequently, MSPs will be adopting cloud services and solutions now more than ever. Because as the clients moved to their home offices, the planned and unplanned maintenance of on-premises servers became a headache for the MSPs. Thus, MSPs will be shifting to offering cloud-based services and solutions.
Furthermore, we will also see accelerated adoption of multi-cloud environments by MSPs in 2022. Thereby, clients will start looking beyond a single provider. In other words, while the MSPs may have been using the cloud for some of their operations, they will adopt cloud services from different providers like Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Oracle
The focus of data analysis is slowly shifting from the volumes of data to how it can be better interpreted and used. Thus, one of the MSP trends that we will see in 2022 is commercially focused insights and upselling. Data capabilities, new-age analysis tools, and accurate interpretation will be instrumental in deriving these insights.
The problem that MSPs face has fundamentally been contextualizing and understanding data to derive business insights. Typically, MSPs cannot afford that level of domain experience and knowledge in their customer-facing staff. Not to mention that the technical complexity of conventional analysis and monitoring tools usually worsens the situation rather than providing clarity.
In 2022, MSPs equipped with robust analysis tools and commercial experts will be in demand. Their abilities to create solid business outcomes by deriving insights will help them land more customers. These insights can be presented to the business-level staff which can further leverage them to drive business outcomes in 2022.
Automation is disrupting every industry by filling in for repetitive, mundane tasks and unlocking unimaginable business efficiency. It is replacing human resources on these repetitive tasks with scripts that trigger IT alerts if pre-configured conditions are fulfilled. Consequently, automation is making business operations more efficient and errorless. One of the MSP trends 2022 will be automated IT service alerting (ITSA) solutions.
MSPs can leverage these solutions to trigger notifications across on-call teams in case of client issues and critical incidents. Instant notifications of problems will enable on-call technicians to provide instant resolution to critical incidents. MSPs can also integrate IT service management (ITSM), remote monitoring, and cybersecurity tools. It will significantly accelerate problem response.
With 2020 being the year of significant change for how organizations operate, the target of cybercrimes also shifted. From individuals and small businesses, the target of cyberattacks moved to major corporations, governments, and critical infrastructure. In addition, with the modern workforces working from their homes, the security risks and vulnerabilities were significantly higher.
However, the security solutions offered by MSPs were not enough to solve these issues. In 2022, we will observe an industry-wide drive to rethink cybersecurity services by MSPs. To cater to the security needs of the remote workforce, many MSPs have started to offer antivirus software, VPNs for remote connection, multi-factor authentication, and data storage and backup solutions.
Other necessary solutions for cybersecurity include patch management and updates, antivirus, backup and disaster recovery, firewall monitoring and updates, spam filtering, and several more. This increased reliance of businesses on cybersecurity solutions is a boon for MSPs that have advanced multi-level security solutions in their quiver.
MSPs had to face a multitude of operational challenges when their clients’ operations were disrupted. Even if the clients were not ceasing their operations, they asked their MSPs to shift the workloads to work-stations at their homes. In other words, dozens of new VPNs, hundreds of relocated PCs, web cameras, and web-meeting solution updates, along with the constant need to provide support to remote workers. Therefore, one of the MSP trends that we will see in 2022 is virtual workforce management solutions.
The chaos pointed towards the necessity of enhanced remote workforce management solutions. These services include VPNs, remote desktop services, remote monitoring and management, and mobile device management. Offering remote workforce management services will be a competitive advantage for MSPs.
This 2022 MSP trend will take place on the client-side of things. Companies understand that keeping up with technological advancements and early adoption gives them a competitive edge. However, the need to have a firm understanding of SaaS applications and cloud security is a primary impediment.
Hiring and training in-house technical staff for this purpose can be extremely costly and time-consuming. Even if they do that, agile competitors with more resources can easily beat them to it. Businesses with smart decision-makers will turn to MSPs to provide assistance or serve as the primary IT experts. This means that MSPs will have new roles to fill in with new technological advancements.
While the pandemic and its effect on businesses were unprecedented, MSPs need to learn from the chaos and reinvent their business continuity and disaster recovery plans. If we look back at what happened, we see many managed service providers who were not ready for shifting clients’ workloads to their home offices. The result? Many clients suffered significant downtimes and more importantly, wounding business losses.
Before the pandemic, most service providers had their business continuity and disaster recovery plans aligned with hardware failures, ransomware attacks, and physical damages such as fires or floods. The pandemic has shown the need to make business continuity plans more robust and comprehensive.
Businesses are increasingly understanding the importance of digital transformation to become flexible and adaptive in changing business climates. It allows them to meet operational challenges and achieve future business goals. However, most businesses don’t have enough resources to implement such a solution on their own.
MSPs can fill in this rising demand for digital transformation by offering XaaS. It will allow them to expand their services beyond low-margin SaaS applications and end-user tech support. They’ll be able to offer high-value infrastructure integration, fully-managed cloud solutions, 24×7 network monitoring, and company-wide risk management.
As IoT becomes mainstream, 2022 will see MSPs adding IoT-specific specialization to their suite of remote monitoring and management services. It will help them grab their share of the booming IoT market. As businesses move to advanced multi-cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures, they will require dedicated IoT and cloud integration assistance. MSPs can offer development, deployment, and management of these new IoT infrastructures to their clients.
Better late than never doesn’t apply to the technology and IT services industry. Thus, keeping up with the business climate, technological advancements, and industry trends is crucial for organizations to thrive. The pandemic and the uncertainty it brought into the business environments across industries will create new scopes and challenges for MSPs. The ten trends discussed in the article will surely help the MSPs in evolving with changing markets and the clients in making the most out of their MSPs.
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