MSP Year-in-Review: The Lowlights and Takeaways From 2021

BY IT GLUE | December 22, 2021

In our previous blog, we discussed all the positive outcomes that resulted in profitability and growth for MSPs. Although opportunities were abundant in 2021, it wasn’t all smooth sailing. The challenges that MSPs faced presented them with some unique learnings, and most importantly, helped them build strategies to ensure future growth.

In this blog, we’re going to shed some light on the challenges MSPs faced in 2021 and how the takeaways from these challenges can be used by MSPs to build operational resilience and ensure a better future.

Ransomware and other cybercrime

Let’s start with the biggest challenge that MSPs face in today’s world. Cybercrime has increased manifold in recent years due to chaos caused by the pandemic and the changes that followed in its wake. While cybercrime continues to rise, organizations face a skills shortage to deal with rising cybercrime. A study by Trustwave estimates that 74% of cybersecurity professionals believe there is a shortage of skills in their organization.

Irrespective of the size of your organization, getting hit by a cyberattack is now a matter of “when” rather than “if.” As a result, everyone must be prepared for such an eventuality. This fact was driven home during the security incident with Kaseya’s VSA. Although the incident was resolved swiftly with the release of a patch, it served as a timely reminder that security attacks can happen to anyone.

Rising to regulatory compliance

In the past, many MSPs stayed clear of providing regulatory compliance support due to the immense challenges that offering them entailed. However, avoidance is no longer a possibility in today’s scenario. Whether you like it or not, you need to provide compliance support to your clients. The good news, however, is that the demand for MSPs with compliance knowledge is at an all-time high.

Despite the opportunities in this niche, compliance is a tricky thing even for experienced MSPs. Different data privacy laws may apply to companies in different industries. MSPs that provide service to these companies must have a strong knowledge of these laws since any degree of non-compliance could result in huge penalties.

Not capitalizing on opportunities

The year 2021 presented MSPs with plenty of great opportunities to boost their business. However, opportunities can only take you so far. What matters is how you capitalize on them. Unfortunately, many MSPs failed to immediately upgrade their tech stack, which led to losses in productivity, efficiency and more. As a result, they couldn’t cater to new customers or retain existing customers with evolving needs.

Tech adaption is accelerating all over the world, with about 53% of businesses increasing their IT spending. These businesses will have a massive competitive edge over their peers and MSPs that fail to make the necessary investments and upgrade their tech stack will miss out on many opportunities and could run the risk of getting left behind in the years to come.

What MSPs need to boost growth

What we have discussed here are some of the key issues that need to be addressed in the MSP world. Instead of viewing these challenges as detrimental, MSPs need to learn from them and start building organizational resiliency. If they fail to do so, they could be easily outmatched by a competitor who has adapted and innovated.

Although the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is still not completely over, most organizations are optimistic about their business outlook in 2022. Over 64% of businesses in North America are expecting higher revenues in 2022. Technology will play a major role in delivering it. MSPs need to equip themselves accordingly and provide the right solutions. This will help their clients move ahead in the competitive business world.

Preparing for a landmark year

The year 2021 will always be remembered as a transitionary year that enabled MSPs to quickly adapt and cater to the changing demands of the modern world. The challenges we discussed here are not going to go away anytime soon. However, MSPs can certainly do what’s necessary to overcome these issues and prepare for a landmark year in 2022.

Here’s to a great year ahead!

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