MSP Industry Trends to Watch for in 2020

BY IT GLUE | January 28, 2020

Yes, it’s another one of these forward-looking new year posts. But we’re extremely confident ours will prove to be more accurate than the rest. In 2019 there were 3 notable trends that give indication of what can be expected in the coming year.

Flexible Services

The basic services your MSP offers will have to evolve with the technology landscape. This doesn’t necessarily mean expanding your service offering, but rather ensuring that your services are flexible enough to support a client as they add, subtract or evolve their technological ecosystem. Whether a client wants to change the balance of their hybrid cloud services, add additional IoT devices, or suddenly prioritize disaster recovery—it’s your job to support these actions. Your MSP needs to be nimble enough to modify their IT infrastructure to allow these changes, or be able to execute those changes yourself. The days of rigid processes are gone, and replaced with the necessity for agility.

Market Saturation

An increasing amount of people are realizing that it’s relatively easy to get in the MSP game—especially in areas with a growing economy that supports the creation of new companies. As new offices are established, there will be an increasing demand for service providers who will design, build, and maintain IT infrastructure. As more players enter the market, of course, competition will intensify. This creates a lot of “noise” in the marketplace, making it incredibly difficult to get your voice heard.

As a response, MSPs will use marketing tactics to compensate for this. Yes, word-of-mouth is invaluable, but there are limits to your network, and there will be parts of the market that it doesn’t reach. How are you going to capture the attention of prospects as they come into being?

Establishing an online presence that speaks their language is vital. Whether you’re looking for organic traffic or using paid ads, the vocabulary and the way you frame your services needs to resonate with prospects. Are they going to know what an MSP is? Unlikely. Will they know they’re looking for IT services? Probably. As more MSPs focus on their marketing and sales initiatives, the bar will be raised. Your MSPs branding, online presence, paid advertising and sales strategy to push prospects through the sales funnel will need to be elevated.

Taking a targeted approach—such as focusing on specific verticals—will also be beneficial. When your client base is unique and well-defined this means you can tailor your suite of services to speak to their unique needs. By using the vernacular specific to a vertical, you can position your MSP as a more suitable services provider compared to another MSP whose target clientele is more general.

Another outcome of a crowded marketplace is consolidation among MSPs. As specific MSPs rise to the top, they will look for ways to grow quickly. One way to achieve this is to acquire other MSPs that have resources to support rapid growth.

MSP Security Breaches

2019 saw an increase in cybersecurity breaches over the previous year, and the instances of MSPs specifically being targeted also increased. Cybercriminals are taking note that MSPs can be an entry-point into a large number of networks of clients. With the number of MSPs growing, this makes MSPs a juicy opportunity for cybercriminals.

The reputation of MSPs as a whole has taken a hit by these recent attacks. MSPs are no longer perceived as being exempt from responsibility. Acquiring expertise in cybersecurity is not only a business opportunity, it’s an imperative that you’re able to safeguard your MSP and the IT environments of your clients. Security competency will be the status quo, and if you’re not creating these for your MSP and your clients, someone else who does will be the preferred services provider.

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