With the continued dependence on IT assets to boost an organization’s productivity, it is no surprise that the managed IT services market continues to show year on year growth.
According to Markets and Markets, the industry will grow at a 9.3% CAGR between 2018 and 2023, with an estimated worth of $282 billion by 2023. Much of this is due to the fact that businesses rely heavily on their IT infrastructure to perform all kinds of business operations and that they are generally reluctant to outsource the control of it for fear of compromising crucial data and assets. This is where managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) step in on-premise to deploy core managed services to defend against security breaches and other various business risks. Meanwhile, organizations feel better knowing they still have an on-site handle on their IT infrastructure.
All types of businesses look to MSPs for an all-inclusive, cost-effective and simplified way to meet their IT needs. However, for small-and-medium businesses (SMBs), MSPs offer an opportunity to meet IT needs without resource and equipment - including technical expertise - restraints, all while keeping a healthy budget in mind.
The good news for MSPs and MSSPs?
Since several SMBs are currently undertaking a digital transformation journey, MSPs find themselves in an especially lush field of opportunity. As the market opportunity grows, so must MSPs. If they want to relish in this market opportunity, knowing what SMBs need and can afford is key. By having comprehensive industry knowledge, they should be able to advise SMBs on where their current offerings fall short and how best to extend them.
MSPs must continue adding more diverse and comprehensive security solutions to their portfolios to address the ever-evolving threat landscape and provide a layered approach to cybersecurity. That way, SMBs can rely on MSPs to protect their networks and ensure in the event of a threat, it is handled with minimal network interruption, all while keeping the budget in mind.
Here are just a few needs that service providers can offer SMBs to satisfy their IT needs and budgets:
Storage, backup, and disaster recovery services: In the event of a ransomware attack or breach, the SMB can utilize their backup/storage services instead of paying the ransom or having downtime on the network. With a disaster recovery service/plan already in place, the SMB can go back to normal as quickly as possible.
Network Monitoring (Firewalls, Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems): Firewalls, specifically next-generation firewalls, are a critical tool to protect the network at any organization, big or small. Businesses need to have control over who is connecting to the network and control who has access to what whether they are in the office or remote. Intrusion Detection Systems are needed to block hacking attempts before they reach internal servers and desktops.
Security (Antivirus and Malware protection): Don’t wait until viruses infect your organization or employees’ devices - block them at the gateway. Modern malware threats target servers, appliances, laptops, tablets, and even mobile phones. While it is important that all of these devices have end-point protection - with the latest versions of software and virus signatures - you may struggle with control over these devices as they connect offsite to unsecured networks, then return to your network with malware onboard. You need a first line of defense and having systems in place to stop virus and malware attempts is critical to protect the network, users, and data.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): More and more companies are utilizing SaaS tools, so MSPs that support this is beneficial for SMBs. Also, as more services turn to the cloud, staying ahead of the security curve is important to ensure MSPs are offering their clients the latest and greatest security technology available.
Real-Time Alerting: Due to the rapid increase in cyberattacks, it is critical that an MSP offers the right alerting tools to protect clients and their networks. Finding out too late that a phishing email slipped through or a device began acting suspiciously can lead to a breach and devastating results for SMBs. MSPs should ensure that the solutions they choose have 24/7 alerting engines that can be integrated into their Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) or apps such as PagerDuty or Slack.
Stay Ahead of Emerging Threats
MSPs offer SMBs a one stop shop for everything IT, from basic VoIP and desktop support, to real-time alerting and reporting, mobile cybersecurity, multifactor identification and authentication, to backups and virus/malware protection. They play a key role in providing security solutions to SMBs with limited resources and budget.
With cyberattacks expected to continue to increase in 2019, the channel must stay ahead of emerging threats by providing effective security solutions that are affordable and easy to manage.
MSPs can assist SMBs who have limited IT resources and budgets by providing a service to the company and handling everything IT related. This is an ideal situation for SMBs who do not already have an IT person on staff. Utilizing an MSP allows for the business to focus on company-related goals as the MSP handles all things network and IT related.