Arnie Bellini Opens IT Nation Connect Urging Move To Security Services

IT Nation Connect Keynote highlights from Arnie Bellini, founder and CEO of ConnectWise.

While IT Nation Connect technically kicked off yesterday, opening remarks and keynotes took place this morning. Arnie Bellini, founder and CEO of ConnectWise took to the stage in front of 3,600 attendees. Following are some highlights from his keynote:

  • ConnectWise events have been rebranded and enhanced to focus on helping IT solution providers build stronger businesses. IT Nation is now IT Nation Connect, built for business leaders and is focused on business building. Automation nation is now IT Nation Explore, which is more focused on products, breakouts, hackathons, etc. This event is ideal for service engineers and technicians. Connectwise User Groups are now IT Nation Share, allowing regional gatherings to share information and best practices. HTG Peer Groups, a recent ConnectWise acquisition/merger is now IT Nation Evolve. All said, Bellini shared that the company spends $14 million annually on events to empower the channel.
  • Bellini spent a lot of time stressing the importance of going all in on services. Customers are more interested than ever in the benefits:
    • Expertise – your customers don’t have it, you do.
    • Cost efficiencies – it saves your customers money to outsource.
    • The OPEX model – subscription model helps control costs.
    • Time and resource efficiency – your customer can spend time and resource on more important things.
    • Technological innovation – they trust you to bring new technologies.
    • Agility – you can help them be more nimble.
    • Continuous improvement – their investment isn’t just for the status quo, it’s to improve over time.
  • Bellini also highlighted the increasing importance of managed security, which has a 17% CAGR over the next few years (a $25 billion opportunity!). Other managed IT categories are at 12% CAGR.
  • Why the rise in managed security? Organized cybercrime takes $6 trillion annually from the world economy. 49% of SMBs have been hacked. 60% go out of business within 6 months of a breach. The average cost of a breach is $7.35 million.
  • Cybercrime is a bigger business than drug trafficking.
  • There is a security talent gap. There are not enough people trained in security. The outlook doesn’t improve over the next few years. Since the people won’t be there, you’ll have to rely on automation.
  • Not only do you have a social responsibility to help protect your customers’ information, but you might have a legal liability. If something happens, your customers will blame you, whether you’re offering security services to them or not. Getting sued for negligence is becoming more common. There are also more regulatory reasons to focus on security.
  • Focusing on security will give you a competitive advantage, allow you to differentiate, and is a big financial opportunity — $25 billion in 2019.
  • Follow IT Nation Connect live updates via Twitter @XaaSJournal.


The former owner of a software development company and having more than a decade of experience writing for B2B IT solution providers, Mike is co-founder of XaaS Journal and DevPro Journal.