SolarWinds Study Unveils Operational Impact of Pandemic on MSPs and Identifies Future Growth Opportunities

The study underscores SolarWinds’ focus on helping partners successfully transform in the face of COVID-19.

SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI), a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software, today revealed the findings of its global study, COVID-19: Impact and Response, showing the operational impact of the current pandemic on managed services providers (MSPs) and future growth opportunities in the market.

SolarWinds MSP surveyed 500 MSPs across Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand, to gain insight into how MSPs are successfully navigating the impact of COVID-19 and their views on the next 12 months in the market. The study builds on SolarWinds’ multi-channel customer success programs designed to help partners uncover new opportunities, leverage the most efficient processes and solutions for advancement, and understand how to transform and strengthen their businesses to move forward.

“To see the overwhelming majority of MSPs retain their staff during a time period characterized by uncertainty is truly heartening, especially given the important role MSPs have played in helping businesses digitally transform,” said Colin Knox, vice president of community, SolarWinds MSP. “The technology industry, and the channel, is resilient but also resourceful, and this crisis has re-enforced the value MSPs bring to businesses. Without MSPs as an extension of the team—focused on risk mitigation and business continuity—many businesses would have been lost, and wouldn’t have been able to support remote working on such a vast, immediate scale. The knowledge, expertise, and skillset of MSPs has been crucial in this changing climate. They have truly become essential.”

Key findings include:

  • The majority (59%) of surveyed MSPs have applied for government financial relief programs, with 74% receiving the help they needed
  • Over 80% of respondents have continued operating at their pre-pandemic staffing levels
  • The majority of MSPs declared they have adapted their security services for work-from-home clients, with 59% of managed-services-centric businesses offering more security bundles than any other business model  

Over two-thirds of MSPs (66%) have reported going the extra mile to support their customers during this time. Along with adapting their security services for work-from-home clients, MSPs have been continuing to accommodate customer needs in the following ways during the pandemic:

  • 65% of MSPs do not anticipate making any pricing changes to their managed services package in the long-term
  • 24% have offered delayed payments
  • 23% have offered temporary discounts
  • 19% have reduced their services to fit shrinking customer budgets
  • 13% intend to increase their prices following the pandemic

In terms of challenges, MSPs believe the biggest barriers they will face over the next year are:

  • Securing new customers
  • Social distancing requirements in the office and at customer sites
  • Lower IT budgets and spending due to recession
  • Adapting to having staff and clients work-from-home

In the next 12 months:

  • MSPs continue to see security services as a crucial growth factor for advancement along with cloud services—51% are set to increase their security services and 47% plan to increase cloud services sales
  • 42% of respondents predicted growth will come from additional project work, and 39% expect an increase in managed services contracts
  • For other potential growth opportunities, 40% of large MSPs also anticipate they will engage in a merger or acquisition to support expansion
  • Nearly half of respondents estimate more than 20% of their clients will implement work-from-home policies post-pandemic
  • Companies operating in a managed services business model show more confidence and expect stronger revenue growth than companies operating primarily in the break/fix business model

Patrick Jäger, CEO at meinAdmin stated, “MSPs are playing a crucial role in protecting businesses and ensuring business continuity during the current climate; at meinAdmin, we wanted to increase our support for our customers and the way we work with them. We changed our stance on not providing hardware to customers and now provide notebooks for a weekly fee. There have also been contractual changes to help customers during this tough period—we decided to take the minimum contract duration from two to three years, so companies were able to add private notebooks and return them when they go back to the office. By supporting our customers in the right way, we hope it cements a healthy partnership for years to come.”

The Health of Managed Services in 2019 report from SolarWinds showed that although MSPs are comfortable with the security basics such as antivirus, backup, and firewalls, there was room for growth in some of the more advanced security solutions and offerings including penetration testing, auditing and compliance management, and risk assessments. Dealing with the sheer variety and growth of security threats such as ransomware, malicious insider attacks, and advanced persistent threats, requires MSPs to take a broad, layered approach to security including robust solutions to defend against today’s sophisticated threats. The SolarWinds MSP Institute, a learning portal within the SolarWinds Customer Success Center, gives SolarWinds partners access to a variety of courses, including a security series, that uncovers concepts and practical applications for growing your security portfolio.




About SolarWinds

SolarWinds (NYSE:SWI) is a leading provider of powerful and affordable IT management software. Our products give organizations worldwide—regardless of type, size, or complexity—the power to monitor and manage their IT services, infrastructures, and applications; whether on-premises, in the cloud, or via hybrid models. We continuously engage with technology professionals—IT service and operations professionals, DevOps professionals, and managed services providers (MSPs)—to understand the challenges they face in maintaining high-performing and highly available IT infrastructures and applications. The insights we gain from them, in places like our THWACK® community, allow us to solve well-understood IT management challenges in the ways technology professionals want them solved. Our focus on the user and commitment to excellence in end-to-end hybrid IT management has established SolarWinds as a worldwide leader in solutions for network and IT service management, application performance, and managed services. Targeted for MSPs, the SolarWinds MSP product portfolio delivers broad, scalable IT service management solutions that integrate layered security, collective intelligence, and smart automation. Our products are designed to enable MSPs to provide highly-effective outsourced IT services for their SMB end-customers and more efficiently manage their own businesses. Learn more today at