This blog post is part of our MSP Influencers series. Over the course of this series, we will share insights from top industry influencers on the current state of the MSP space and what they expect to see going forward. Last week, we focused on the general outlook for the MSP Industry in 2021. This week, we’re talking about how the pandemic has impacted the MSP marketplace.
For the majority, the most significant change they observed over the last 10 months was the forced/mass adoption of remote work and cloud. MSP expert Erick Simpson notes that “The pandemic really accelerated the move to the cloud, hardened security and increased remote workforce mobilization for businesses across all markets in a way that simply could not have occurred otherwise in such a compressed timeframe.”
This is good news according to IT growth expert Richard Tubb. He believes that “with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a work-from-home setup for nearly all small and medium-sized businesses, the role of an MSP is growing beyond being the ‘IT guys’ into a true, trusted advisor to SMBs in the same way they view their accountant or solicitor.”
Another key change that many of our panelists identified is the increase in competition. Kaseya CEO Fred Voccola points out that “even though SMBs are spending more on technology, there’s more competition out there for every IT dollar. During tough economic times, businesses need to maximize the value out of every dollar they spend, so they’re driving a harder bargain. As a result, there’s a lot more pressure being put on the MSP by their client to deliver better services and to deliver them at a better price.”
Our experts noted that this ‘heightened competition’ has led to the polarization of the MSP market. Mark Copeman, the author of MSP Secrets Revealed, pointed out that “so many MSPs are thriving – they’ve never been busier. Other businesses, particularly those who’ve focused on declining sectors, are struggling.” Gary Pica from TruMethods believes that the reason behind this polarization is because “top MSPs are mitigating risks and uncovering new opportunities. They are already growing again while less mature providers feel stuck.”
Things have changed on the growth front as well. Paul Dippell of Service Leadership pointed out that “MSPs are reporting winning deals from larger prospects shrinking their IT departments, “orphaned” customers whose previous MSPs became too financially weak to perform and prospects with significant security breaches.”
Erick Simpson opines that these new opportunities are opening up because “IT leaders have realized their internal teams were ill-equipped to respond to the new ‘work-from-home’ mandates and lacked the ability to rapidly pivot to support their workforces that now had to operate remotely.”
On the whole, our panelists agree that the pandemic has had a significant impact on the MSP marketplace. It has widened the gap between the top performers and the strugglers. On the other hand, more small businesses are looking to MSPs to help them with remote work provisioning, end-user support and new security threats emerging due to the shift to cloud infrastructure and remote work setup.
Next week, we’ll give you a lowdown on the biggest opportunities and challenges facing MSPs in 2021. If you are looking to set your business up for a quick start to the year, you should definitely keep an eye out for that one.
Need help with clients who are switching to a remote work setup? Download our handy COVID Checklist to ensure that you don’t miss out on anything when setting up your MSP and your clients for remote work.