As we near the end of 2023, it’s becoming increasingly evident that this year has been a turning point for Managed Service Providers (MSPs). The future of work is here. Millions of companies are heavily investing in new technology to adapt and stay competitive. Hybrid work has become the norm in many industries. Overall, there have been huge shifts in how businesses operate and deliver their services. And with that shift comes a unique set of challenges. Or, as we like to call them, opportunities.
Challenge 1: Cyber Resilience
One of the biggest reasons many businesses are losing sleep is whether or not their data is safe because the threat of cyberattacks has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the Ponemon Institute, there’s been a 38% increase in cyberattacks this year alone. And not only that, cybercrime is projected to cost the world a staggering $10.5 trillion by 2025. That’s not a typo – trillion with a ‘T.’
Statistics like these are an urgent wake-up call for businesses to fortify their defenses. And that’s where MSPs come in. They can offer a lifeline with comprehensive cyber resiliency services. In plain English, that means not just preventing cyberattacks but also having a rapid response strategy in place for yourself and for your clients. In this digital age, being a company that can keep customers’ data safe is a selling point worth its weight in gold.
Challenge 2: Not Being Future-Ready
Whether we like it or not, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are the future of work. And 80 percent of executives agree. However, striking the right balance between technology and the human touch is crucial. MSPs must embrace AI-driven alerting and automation tools that help them work better and faster. But you shouldn’t use them as a crutch or as a replacement for your human team members.
Focus on making sure your team is ready for this new era. Be sure to give employees the skills they need to work alongside AI effectively and navigate any ethical and security concerns wisely and well. At the end of the day, the best MSPs will be the ones who blend AI’s efficiency with their human team’s know-how and compassion.
Challenge 3: Staying Relevant
No matter what industry you’re in, change happens fast these days. MSPs must stay on top of emerging technologies and best practices. But they’re facing a massive talent shortage. Sixty-four percent of IT executives say that an IT shortage is the biggest barrier to adopting new tools. That’s true for MSPs as well. The solution? Invest in research and training programs for your team. Thankfully, organizations like Coursera provide product- and service-specific training for free or a minimal fee. Staying at the cutting edge of technology builds trust with your clients and opens doors to new opportunities.
Challenge 4: Efficiency vs. Cost-Cutting
Efficiency and cost-cutting often feel like conflicting goals. However, if you play your cards right, you can do both. How? Utilizing automation and outsourcing to optimize your processes, making them more efficient while reducing costs. This benefits your operations and allows you to offer competitive pricing to clients without compromising on service quality.
Challenge 5: Profitability in Uncertain Times
And speaking of cutting costs, it’s time to talk about profits. Inflation is casting a shadow in 2023, impacting the profitability of businesses across the board. And MSPs are not immune to this economic rollercoaster. However, some strategies can help you weather the storm.
According to McKinsey & Company, MSPs shouldn’t just raise prices. Instead, they should find other ways to maintain profits, like trimming operational costs, offering different products, or adopting time-saving automation. Any of these solutions, plus other cost-saving initiatives, will keep you in the black.
Challenge 6: Competitive Market
Once a well-kept secret, the MSP industry is now bustling with activity. Not only are smaller players in the mix, but tech giants have also joined the party, offering similar services. MSPs must stand out to thrive and even survive. Research shows that businesses want more from their MSPs than just a decent product. They want a trusted advisor.
That desire for more is why you should consider offering comprehensive solutions. Go beyond IT support or VoIP phone systems. Think about offering strategic consulting, cybersecurity, and cutting-edge tech adoption. In the future of work, it’s about delivering value that dazzles in a crowded market.
2023 serves up a plateful of challenges for MSPs as they navigate the future of work. But here’s the exciting part: these challenges can be transformed into opportunities for growth if you’re willing to embrace change and innovation. The future of work is beckoning, and MSPs have the opportunity to lead the charge.