Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobility Pile on for MSP Opportunity

As cloud computing, big data and mobility services grow more popular, you can bet that you, Mr./Ms. MSP, will see an increase in business, and it’s time to plan accordingly.

MarketsandMarkets makes this prediction in a new report devoted to the indirect channel, noting that MSPs will see demand soar between 2015 and 2019 – by how much, however, the research firm did not say. What is clear is that MSPs and the partners they team with, including VARs, ISVs and systems integrators, all stand to profit, as long as they offer vendor-neutral services and cater to customers’ specific needs, MarketsandMarkets said.

That good news – albeit not new news – for MSPs and their associates comes as many enterprises and SMBs don’t want to take on the hassle of understanding, procuring and overseeing the technology that drives their organizations. Over the coming four years, even more companies will turn to the indirect channel and ask partners to shoulder those responsibilities. Of course, end users will enjoy not just the absence of stress but the savings: MarketsandMarkets said relying on a third-party MSP cuts recurring in-house IT costs by 30-40 percent and adds as much as a 60 percent boost in efficiency.

While such projections may feel like old hat, consider what will change between now and 2019 for MSPs practices. All indicators point to the addition of big data. That’s because many MSPs already have incorporated cloud and mobility into their portfolios and knowledge bases, but big data has yet to take a major hold on the channel. So far, it has remained a big boy undertaking – IBM helping a Fortune 500 company detect fraud, rather than a mom ‘n’ pop MSP doing the same for a family burger chain, for example. Big-data platforms have stayed out of reach for the majority of channel partners due to pricing and demographics.

That could soon change, however. Big data will gain interest among channel partners as mobility and cloud computing adoption proliferate, and as more organizations hire third-party, not in-house, experts. Vendors must acknowledge this trend and react by delivering affordable, easy-to-use big data systems that let MSPs track information and connect the dots.

The time is encroaching. Already the real-time data are flooding in from devices, the Web, social media, log files and transactional applications. Someone has to analyze the patterns so end users may act on the information tied up in the 1s and 0s – that someone ought to be MSPs. Consider this: Analysts from Signals and Systems Telecom say hardware sales and professional services – areas where MSPs stand out – account for more than 70 percent of all big data purchases.

All in all, SNS said in its mid-2014 report that big data investments will grow at a 17 percent compound annual growth between now and 2020, and account for $76 billion in revenue by the end of that year. The time for MSPs to start making the most of the opportunity is now.

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