With advanced cyberthreats, ever more complex legal requirements, and the need to deploy technology at rapid speed, there is a constantly evolving business requirement for strong technical and security expertise.
Rather than businesses worrying about this themselves and always looking to hire or train employees, they are increasingly outsourcing this to an MSP or MSSP, leaving them free to focus their efforts on their core business.
It’s a positive outlook for service providers. Our recent survey of 606 partners across 21 different countries confirmed the use of MSPs and MSSPs continued to grow this year across SMBs and enterprises. Smaller companies are more likely to give an MSP or MSSP principal responsibility for IT security, with 14% of very small businesses relying entirely on an MSP or MSSP. This is the case for only 4% enterprises, with most large companies turning to service providers for certain elements of their IT security provision.
Our research, which aimed to dig into the challenges and opportunities for MSPs in the current market, highlighted 94% of service providers expect their revenue to increase over the next two years. Together with Gartner’s prediction of an 8.4% growth in overall global IT spending this year, it is likely this expenditure and reliance on external providers is only set to continue.
So, it is indeed a positive outlook. But it does bring additional pressures to MSPs. This includes attracting the right talent to service the growing needs of customers, continuously learning about the latest technology solutions available, and staying on top of clients’ evolving business models. In fact, the complexity of client’s businesses and their needs is the single most common pain point for MSPs, according to our survey.
That is why it is so important to have a strong and open relationship between vendors and service providers. As vendors we need to listen to our partners to understand what support they need, while MSPs need to be open with us on what services, training and promotions they require to help achieve our shared goal.
Additional services is one area we found that MSPs and MSSPs are placing more emphasis on the vendors to provide, compared to previous years. To help them meet rising client demands and to remain competitive in a crowded market, they are seeking additional services such as security assessments, cybersecurity awareness training or threat intelligence.
It’s understandable - new entrants in the form of telecoms providers, IT integrators and value-added resellers are basing their offerings around specialised services, such as security skills or automation in a bid to oust the more ‘traditional’ MSP players.
This heightened competition has been a top challenge this year for around a third of the respondents in our survey. It has prompted 9 in 10 MSPs to expand their IT security offering, with threat intelligence being the top service sought as the next big step in security capabilities – specifically APT intelligence reporting and threat data feeds.
Kaspersky’s MSP cybersecurity framework includes building a multi-layered integrated security system and providing the most advanced services on the market – such as managed detection and response and threat intelligence services – to support MSPs service existing customers, and win new ones.
Ultimately, businesses need trusted advisors to ensure security is a key part of company success and managed service providers are well placed to be that long-term provision businesses crave.
Vendors and partners should make the most of this positive outlook, together. At Kaspersky we strive to maintain open dialogues with our partners to help them achieve a holistic approach to security, bring compelling services to market and enhance their security expertise, in turn helping them distinguish their business from competitors and win new customers.
Margrith Appleby, General Manager of Kaspersky ANZ