A new year always starts full of promise. We take stock in the accomplishments and unrealized plans of the closing year, and set new goals and plans to tackle unfinished business in the year ahead.
In that spirit, rather than make lofty predictions for 2017, let’s review five managed services trends that are sure to be relevant in the next 12 months as MSPs navigate the complexities and consider the opportunities of a very dynamic market.
- Commoditization Pressure
MSPs have felt commoditization pressure for years, and in 2017 it is bound to intensify. It takes monkish discipline to fight the constant downward pressure on pricing and continue to focus on value as you sign new customer contracts and renew existing ones. Resist the pressure by finding new value-add services to wrap around your offerings and keeping an eye on emerging technologies that can be turned into managed services.
- Cloud Opportunities
Within three years, nearly 80 percent of small businesses are expected to be using the cloud in some form. At the enterprise level, according to various reports, a similar percentage of organizations is has implemented a cloud strategy or is in the process of doing it. The cloud is real and unavoidable, and MSPs that continue to pass on cloud opportunities may live to regret that in the not-too-distant future.
The cyber threat landscape changes constantly and becomes more dangerous by the day. Understanding threats and how to deal with them is paramount for MSPs. Whether you offer managed security services yourself or partner with an MSSP to deliver the services, delivering security solutions to your customers has to be a priority. Threats such as malvertising, ransomware and phishing will remain prevalent, and your customers need help to protect their networks and data.
- Internet of Things
Yes, the IoT has fast become one of those tiresome buzzwords the industry loves to exploit before moving on to the next thing, but the trend to connect everything that can be connected is real. Look around you, and you’ll realize that many IoT implementations are already in place. Opportunities for MSPs in this area will be in connecting and integrating industrial and enterprise systems, and deploying the technology to help customers analyze and act on the data captured by IoT systems to make smart business decisions.
- RMM Evolution
With IoT, cloud and cybersecurity rearranging priorities for MSPs, RMM integration with these types services are becoming more critical than ever. Platforms are evolving to meet these demands with new features such as integrated cloud backup for multiple devices, advanced user authentication solutions, integration with cloud-based services such as email and power and service monitoring, and simplified user interfaces. RMM platforms also will offer enhanced automation and are starting to add features such as machine learning for predictive purposes.
Keep an eye on RMM developments to decide which new features and functions can help you better serve your customers. Because, after all, it all comes down to serving the customer. And the better you are at it, the more likely you are to have a successful 2017.