Opportunities for meaningful modernization will define MSP’s service offerings in 2022—and likely MSPs’ success for years to come. As businesses plan rapid shifts to cloud infrastructure (often leaving no remaining physical servers to speak of) they seek MSPs ready to support their migrations and provide cloud-first solutions, especially when it comes to data security. As a trend, this move beyond the physical is mirrored in the rise of work-from-home policies, which drive demand for security features able to protect data and devices regardless of location. Look for savvy MSPs to embrace this remote-activity trend by investing in VR/AR telepresence tooling that enables “hands-on” service at a distance.
In talking to several MSPs in depth over the past few weeks, these are the trends that they were most excited about, as ripe-for-2022 revenue-generating opportunities:
1Wise MSPs will prioritize the cloud and security.
Clients still using on-prem servers want to get to the cloud as soon as possible – and want to partner with MSPs who can get them there. Beyond eliminating on-prem infrastructure, the rise of distributed workforces precipitated by the pandemic has led many businesses to explore operating with no central office at all.
For MSPs accustomed to providing physical infrastructure with costs based on server metering and similar metrics, this shift requires thoughtful adaptation but ultimately presents a clear opportunity. Look for MSPs in 2022 to streamline their pricing around cloud services, surpassing the revenue previously earned from delivering on-prem services (servers, security, data backup and disaster recovery, etc.) by adopting simplified cost strategies and billing based on per-user support. With cloud transformation and data security standing as clients’ top areas of focus, MSPs that adapt to share those priorities will reap the rewards.
2Decentralized workforces require security services to match.
Clients and their MSPs can no longer focus on centralized offices as defensible fortresses to secure—not when employees are working from their homes and the central office may not even exist. MSPs are simultaneously being pressed into MSSP roles, as clients demand peace of mind as-a-Service and managed security solutions that simply work. This shift is pressing MSPs to look beyond traditional localized firewalls and VPNs and toward cloud-based solutions able to maintain data encryption and access control over employee-used devices no matter their physical location.
To claim their market positions as modern security providers, more MSPs will protect client systems and data by adopting solutions that align with distributed workforce practices. For example, look for MSPs to implement automated geofencing-based access safeguards, working closely with clients to assign perimeters around each employee’s home office, and denying access to sensitive data if a device travels outside its expected confines. In this way, lost or stolen devices are immediately nullified as data breach threats. MSPs will also increasingly explore the possibilities of persistent VPNs and next-generation firewalls designed to secure employees on an individual level, wherever they go. And MSPs will benefit from showing how proactive they can be to prospective clients no matter what happens to their devices—including capabilities to wipe or quarantine data if devices have gone rogue, or hit a pre-set number of login attempts, or travel outside of a geofence.
Clients with specific requirements, such as SIEM tooling or compliance with certain regulatory frameworks, will find MSPs positioned to meet those security needs with cloud-based solutions. Again, MSPs with simple understandable pricing will thrive when it comes to gaining a foothold in the cloud MSSP marketplace of 2022.
3Telepresence-empowered MSPs will be able to reach and compete anywhere geographically.
Decentralization isn’t just for clients: expect savvy MSPs in 2022 will hire their own remote workforces and serve clients in far-flung locations as easily and capably as those in their own regions. And while cloud infrastructure goes a long way toward eliminating location as a limitation for MSPs, advanced telepresence technology will enable MSPs to serve clients as capably as if they were on-site. VR and AR solutions will allow MSP experts to guide local technicians through any on-site process, enabling reach that’s as effective as flying them out, and far more efficient.
Looking forward, the possibilities enabled by modernized cloud infrastructure, evolving security services, and telepresence technologies will offer a tremendous breadth of new opportunities for MSPs in 2022, and favor those who are quicker to act on them.