The COVID-19 pandemic was a defining moment at the turn of this decade, one that is likely to leave a lasting impression across sectors and industries.
Information technology in general, and the practice of managed service providers in particular has witnessed phenomenal growth, riding the digital transformation gravy train, along with a host of new technologies and trends rising to the forefront.
While many of these innovations were long on their way to disrupt the status quo, COVID was the catalyst that brought them to the mainstream, years or even decades before previously thought possible.
As a result, MSPs have had their dockets full over the past two to three years, helping businesses better adapt to a new digital reality, along with the range of challenges and opportunities that come with it.
1.) The No / Low-Code Future
The rise of no-code and low-code is often seen as a threat to IT professionals and managed service, but this is largely a fallacy.
If anything, these trends stand to unlock a multitude of new opportunities as businesses of all sizes start scrambling to build internal business apps to accommodate their unique systems and processes.
No-code/low-code platforms bring sophisticated apps and solutions within the reach of small business budgets, but most small business owners will still lack the skills required to effectively plan, develop, test, and deploy solutions, providing MSPs access to a market that they have long ignored.
As always, the early-bird gets the worm, but as things stand today, most MSPs would rather dazzle their unsophisticated clientele with ‘Voodoo’ and charge them top dollars for the same, rather than strive to add exceptional value to their businesses, workflows, and operations.
2.) MSPs As-A-Service
A subscription-based model is fairly new among MSPs, even though most enterprise tools have since shifted to the SaaS model.
This, however, is changing quickly, with more and more MSPs offering a turnkey subscription model, often under the garb of Security Incident Management As A Service, Security Control Room As A Service, or Data Backup As A Service, among others.
Such a model offers MSPs with consistent cash flows, and is often the reason why product companies shifted to this over the past decade.
With most tech product giants offering substantial flexibility to their channel partners, both in-terms of pricing and deployment, this trend will only accelerate over the course of the 2020s.
3.) Internet Of Things, AI & Blockchain
Among the broader tech trends that are set to remake the world in the 2020s, managed service providers are set to play an outsized role in the broad based adoption of technologies such as AI, blockchain, and internet of things.
It has long been realized that the real value from these state of the art innovations can only be realized when there is convergence between them.
This is possible only when channel partners and MSPs bring together solutions from different vendors to drive efficiencies for businesses.
Take for example a medical facility, EHR tools and care coordination software have resulted in massive efficiency gains over the years, but the next stage of gains are only possible with the integration of AI, blockchain, and RPAs, or robotic process automation.
All of this requires the integration of tools from different vendors, with a turnkey solution, made possible by an MSP.
4.) Cybersecurity Goes Mainstream
Cybersecurity risks such as ransomware, phishing attacks, and malware are an ever present danger for businesses of all sizes.
In fact, in recent years 82% of all ransomware attacks were aimed at businesses with fewer than 1,000 employees, making cybersecurity solutions increasingly indispensable for organizations of all sizes.
This opens up a vast array of opportunities for MSPs, with turnkey services and subscription based models as discussed above, for security monitoring, incident response systems, and backup services, all aimed at business continuity.
Digital transformation and remote work have further exacerbated the risks of cyber threats, and given this sudden spurt in demand, cybersecurity giants have since turned their attention to small to medium sized businesses, with managed service providers and channel partners acting as a bridge to deliver such critical services seamlessly.
The MSP market has grown by leaps and bounds in recent years, but that is nothing compared to what lies ahead.
The global market for managed services which stood at a little over $240 billion in 2021, is set to scale past $560 billion by 2028, representing a CAGR of 12.6%.
With a growing range of disruptive technologies with demand from organizations of all types and sizes, there is seemingly no stopping this often overlooked and underestimated, yet critical cog in the global information technology value chain.
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