The top IT trends MSPs need to watch in 2020

Capitalize on these seven IT trends and business developments to make this your most profitable year yet.

The MSP market is expanding at a healthy rate, with estimates putting the value of MSPs at $319.5 billion by 2024. For MSPs looking to take advantage of the increasing demand for their services, it will be essential to stay ahead of rapid developments in the information technology space.

In 2020, MSPs should target their investments in technology and personnel around a few key trends:

Cybersecurity: Because of the pervasiveness and increasing complexity of cybersecurity threats, MSPs must consider advanced security solutions as a critical part of their offerings. Clients need help managing security across the enterprise, from the network access point to end user devices.

The demand for security solutions is just part of the equation; there’s also an opportunity to develop a more consultative, ongoing relationship with clients. MSPs can provide an array of technology solutions (email, network, web, end point and AI-based solutions) to secure client data, as well as educational resources for their employees and guidance on developing new security policies tailored to current threats.

At the same time, MSPs have been identified as valuable targets by cybercriminals, drawn by their access to a variety of client networks. For MSPs, client security offerings must be backed up by a robust internal security program. MSPs will be under increasing scrutiny to prove their systems are secure and reliable — make sure your company is prepared with the right answers when those questions arise.

Artificial Intelligence: On a related note, AI-based cybersecurity tools will play a vital role in enabling these security initiatives. Systems like Barracuda’s Sentinel leverage AI to help identify increasingly complex attacks (like spear-phishing and other social-engineering-based schemes) that are hard to detect. No longer can we simply rely on solutions that prevent attacks containing malicious payloads.

Automation: To optimize use of their resources, MSPs will need to take advantage of new automation technologies that can help manage their business and deliver services to clients. Look for opportunities to fill in the automation gaps left by existing PSA or RMM solutions.

The goal is real-time visibility and a reduction in manual tasks so that your staff can concentrate on other revenue generating activities and account management.

Cloud Management: Expect more clients to shift some or all of their applications to the cloud. Gartner expects the worldwide public cloud services market to reach $331.2 billion by 2022, with a CAGR of 12.6 percent.

MSPs should be prepared with cloud management offerings, as well as the security tools to reassure clients that their applications and data are safe no matter where they reside.

The Internet of Things (IoT): IoT is emerging as a hot vertical (Gartner expects tens of billions of devices to come online this year), with more connected devices becoming a mainstream part of homes and businesses. With each node on the network, a new vulnerability is created — and with it, is a unique opportunity for MSPs to help clients better secure their technology ecosystem.

Mergers and Acquisitions: This isn’t a technology issue, but it’s having a significant impact on the market. Last year, we saw big merger announcements on both the vendor and MSP side. Both have the potential to be disruptive, particularly as software products are integrated or replaced as a result.

If your vendors were part of this trend, be proactive and find out if there will be any impact on pricing, third-party integrations, or support. Additionally, it will be crucial to get an understanding of the future product roadmap.

Keep an eye on MSP M&As in your area — there may be customers who aren’t enjoying their experience as a result of these changes and would be interested in exploring a working relationship with you.

The future looks bright for the MSP market. To stay competitive and relevant, however, MSPs must address these key technology trends for their clients.

Scott Bennett

Scott Bennett is Senior Director of MSP Sales for Barracuda MSP, a provider of security and data protection solutions for managed services providers, and he plays a key role in the development and growth of partner relationships.