Two trends in 2020 have had major implications for Australian enterprises: ongoing market disruptions, and the continued drive towards transformation.
The global economy has gone through an unprecedented level of disruption over the past year, and this has changed how businesses operate. Health concerns around the COVID-19 pandemic meant many organisations were pushed into adopting remote working in order to continue to operate while others were unable to operate at all.
Now, as the market begins to re-open, it is obvious remote working is here to stay, and many businesses now find themselves contending with cashflow interruption and grappling with other consequences of a recession.
This is pushing many organisations into transformation projects, A recent KPMG report noted: “History has shown companies that take a strategic future-focused investment approach during times of unrest were better placed when the global economy rebounded.”
Solutions aggregator, Synnex Australia, claims 60 per cent of local businesses have accelerated their digital transformation goals by at least five years. Many of these transformation projects are modest in scope but a shift to dynamic Cloud-based environments and innovation via digital technology is emerging as a top priority for many businesses.
However, a third trend has major implications for business. There was a 65 per cent increase in cybersecurity incidents in the April-June 2020 quarter, according to PWC’s 2021 Global Digital Trust Insights survey
Managing security costs
Research has found the annual cost of a security breach is $AU3.35 million. This is growing by 10 per cent year-on-year. However, with cashflows as tight as they are, many businesses will struggle to develop and maintain a security practice that is responsive and scalable in-line with the growing security threats. For this reason, managed services providers (MSPs) that specialise in security solutions are finding an ever increasing demand for their services.
During a recent Synnex webinar moderated by IDG, attendees were asked “what level of security are you currently providing to customers?” Forty-eight per cent responded “basic security,” and a further four per cent said they weren’t selling security at all. With IDG analysis showing 73 per cent of local operations plan to further investments in managed security services to enhance their security, there is an opportunity for MSPs to scale their security operations and earn long-term customer buy-in.
Challenges facing MSPs in security
Australian MSPs face two significant issues in the market:
- A lack of new customer engagement – MSPs need to work to engage with, and grow, their existing customer base, as new customer acquisition has become an even greater challenge. Building a more robust security practice offers the opportunity to re-engage with existing customers.
- Skills shortages – Unfortunately for MSPs looking to grow their security practice, the pool of available security experts in Australia is small. RMIT Online suggests 18,000 additional cybersecurity professionals will be required to ensure Australia’s digital security by 2026.
Synnex aims to help MSPs meet the technical challenges of security through a comprehensive MSP enablement program, and partnerships with the leading, proven brands in the space. Security vendors, including Avast, Webroot, Barracuda, Microsoft, TeamViewer and others, provide a suite of endpoint, infrastructure, email, anti-phishing and monitoring tools that are Cloud-ready and allow MSPs to take an active role in their customer’s security and management. Assisted by Synnex’s enablement and technical support, partners are able to rapidly scale up their security practice, despite the shortage of security professionals.
Traditionally, security has been a “value-add” or a secondary product for some MSPs, with many customers preferring either to manage their own security or settle for basic security coverage. This is rapidly changing, however, and security is one of the few areas where IT budgets are not being constrained.
Customers are aware of the growing cybersecurity threats, the business-ending cost of a breach, and the increasing complexity of managing an environment when staff are increasingly working remotely. For MSPs, the big opportunity in the coming year – both for retaining existing customers and finding new ones – will be to make advanced security services a core competency.
To learn more about the role MSPs have to play in their customer’s security, watch the Synnex/IDG Webinar on Sizing Up Security: What’s Next For MSPs, here.