By Daniel Mannion
2016 was exciting, turbulent, surprising and transformational both around the world and in the cybersecurity industry. My team spent a significant amount of time with MSPs throughout the year learning about their businesses, growth opportunities and discussing how we can partner together.
We spoke with a variety of different types of managed service providers, differentiated by their core competencies (infrastructure vs. security, servers vs. clients), as well as where they are focused (on-premises, third-party hosting, public cloud, and/or hybrid installations). Regardless of where an MSP lands, however, we found common behaviors preventing them from building profitable businesses in the security market.
For those operating an MSP, in the spirit of setting New Year’s resolutions that can be kept, here are three common behaviors to avoid in 2017:
MSPs seeking growth and increased margins must standardize to a set of products and services that can be executed on efficiently, followed by constant innovation to increase customer adds at a faster rate than increasing headcount. In the security market, it’s not only important from a profit perspective, it’s the only way to guarantee customers that an MSP can stand between them and the threat actors out to steal their most sensitive assets.
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Not a day goes by that cybersecurity isn’t discussed in major media outlets, online and in boardrooms. Avoiding this important conversation demonstrates that an organization is tone deaf to some of the most critical concerns of CEOs, CFOs and CIOs today.
Reduce the aperture by homing in on potential partners that have built standardized, scalable security frameworks and demonstrate willingness to invest in sales enablement and pipeline development with sales and marketing teams.
This year presents an opportunity to capitalize on the overwhelming need for organizations, regardless of size or industry, to strengthen their security postures. The fact is, the need is real and pervasive, and most business leaders have an air of desperation to address cybersecurity. These resolutions can help MSPs be the “champion” in this situation to accelerate growth.
Want more advice from Dan? In a recent Q&A, he weighed in on AWS, Microsoft Azure, shared responsibility for security and more.
Dan Mannion is vice president, partners & alliances at Armor, a cybersecurity company that keeps sensitive, regulated data safe and compliant in the cloud. For more information on partnering, visit www.armor.com/partners.