By Will Ominsky
The new year is well upon us, and managed service providers are strategizing innovative ways to help customers stay ahead of the curve. In particular, within the technology industry, with its constant state of change and new innovations, MSPs are under even more pressure to keep pace with customer needs.
Do you have the information you need to properly advise customers in 2019? Here are three predictions and opportunities for MSPs in the new year.
1. MSPs and customers will grow IoT usage. It’s no secret that Internet of Things (IoT) and connected devices, such as Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home, are growing in popularity. This year, it is expected that consumer IoT will soar, with 1.9 billion smart home devices expected to be shipped. By 2025, Intel projects that the global worth of IoT technology will be $6.2 trillion.
Smart technology has especially gained traction in industries such as health care, banking, retail, manufacturing and more. Customers are seeking to unlock this new frontier in technology, and MSPs hold the key to handling the challenges of planning, securing and monitoring a network of connected devices.
In 2019, IoT is a new market opportunity for MSPs to stay relevant to their customers, navigating an exciting opportunity. MSPs can determine if customers have the right tools in place for the automation, monitoring and real-time analytics behind connected devices. MSPs should be proactive, and discuss IoT interest, so that customers don’t turn to a competitor instead for the same guidance.
2. Security and IT resilience will drive customer decisions. In 2019, it is highly anticipated that end user and MSP decision making will be greatly driven by security and IT resilience. Throughout the last year, cyberattacks dominated the news headlines and stayed at the forefront of IT leaders’ minds. Almost daily in 2018, there were major breaches at such household name companies as Facebook, Marriott and Google+, with millions of individuals having their personal, sensitive data exposed to hackers.
Businesses are also not immune to IT disruptions and disasters. In the last year, US Signal found that 70 percent of businesses experienced at least one IT outage in the last 12 months, caused by natural disasters, errors while implementing new technology, ransomware and IT overloads, based on its 2018 IT Resiliency Survey.
To conquer these obstacles, companies need to turn to MSPs’ talent for strategic guidance on investing in security solutions to stay ahead of the game. MSPs must counsel clients on solutions for planning for security risks, whether it is natural disasters or fighting off the latest malware or virus.
3. Hybrid cloud adoption is on the rise. In 2018, 81 percent of enterprises had a multicloud strategy. The cloud has been embraced as a norm in the technology industry, and it provides numerous opportunities for MSPs. Cloud computing is a business initiative and, when successful, cloud-based strategic investments can address the customer’s business positively by increasing ROI.
Most IT infrastructures are a mix of on-premise and cloud-based solutions, and MSPs are invaluable in navigating that process. The 2018 State of the Cloud Report found that organizations are using more than four different cloud solutions in their IT infrastructure. This year, cloud usage will become more complex with services delivered from more places and vendors. With hybrid cloud environments, MSPs will continue to be asked to provide strategic guidance on solutions that best fit organizations.
The market is constantly evolving, with growth and new opportunities. MSPs bear the responsibility for the functionality of an organization’s IT infrastructure, freeing an organization to focus on business initiatives. In 2019, IoT, cloud and security are on the horizon as key business initiatives, and organizations are well-equipped to take advantage of these opportunities, with the counsel of their MSPs.
Will Ominsky is the cloud sales manager at US Signal, a data center services provider. Previously, Ominsky was the managing director at Clarity Channel Advisory Group. In addition, he has held positions at itopia.US, IndependenceIT and Thrive Networks. Follow Ominsky on LinkedIn.