To ensure your business is primed for growth and ready to provide the best products and services to your SMB customers in 2023, you’ll want to consider the following trends and best practices in the IT space:
• Resurgence of the break-fix model
• Increased focus on data protection and advanced cybersecurity measures
• More efficient, integrated business management tools
• Streamlined documentation for relationship management, password storage, and more
According to the Datto State of the MSP Report, nearly all 1,800-plus MSP respondents now offer cloud-based infrastructure with a strong shift to the cloud. This shift is attributed to, in part, better storage design and implementation for collaboration across teams working in-office, hybrid, or remotely.
Solutions like business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR), productivity, and business continuity continue to be the main focus for MSPs. Competition, revenue growth, profitability, new customer acquisition, and workforce hiring are all top-of-mind concerns moving into the new year.
Resurgence Of The Break-Fix Model
Many MSPs were originally founded upon the break-fix model, and according to the State of the MSP Report, revenue from this model continues to increase. But this isn’t the break-fix model of years ago; it focuses on the idea that internal IT departments at larger companies and enterprises often turn to MSPs to fix problems out of a reluctance to work with completely new vendors.
This opens a new market for customer acquisition and also allows MSPs to provide co-managed IT services to internal IT departments by providing value to internal departments through audits, compliance best practices, cybersecurity implementations, and education.
Increasing Focus On Data Protection And Advanced Cybersecurity Measures To Combat Malicious Actors
Cybersecurity incidents are on the rise, with companies experiencing significant data and financial impacts from attacks such as malware, phishing, ransomware, and other forms executed against individuals and businesses by bad actors. As threat actors become savvier and implement harder-to-detect campaigns against businesses, it’s more important than ever that MSPs use proper lines of defense for their own data and their customers’ data.
According to the State of the MSP Report, the top security services provided by MSPs to their clients include email security, security framework, and compliance auditing, identity access management and single sign-on, and mobile device management.
Protecting Email Inboxes
Email is the most successful delivery method for the costliest cyberattacks, including business email compromise, credential theft, and ransomware. An automated phishing defense platform can stop emerging threats in their tracks without technician intervention, providing advanced protection for lean IT teams and budgets.
Securing Networks And Environments
Organizations known for their best practices such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Center for Internet Security (CIS) strongly advocate for ongoing network vulnerability management, regardless of network size. It is also required by the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).
Vulnerability scanner tools can be broken down into five categories: network-based, host-based, wireless, database, and application and are used to identify various security flaws across networks, workstations, environments, and web apps. By implementing a solution, MSPs can detect and remediate issues associated with outdated software, poor data encryption, misconfigurations, and authentication problems.
Implementing Better BCDR Solutions
Your front-line defenses may be strong, but what happens if a malicious actor somehow gains access to your systems? With ransomware becoming increasingly more common and costlier, MSPs need to find ways to protect and back up their data in the event of a compromise. BCDR goes beyond simple data backup, enabling MSPs to rapidly restore individual files or entire servers and continue business operations directly from the cloud with limited disruption.
Creating Better Awareness And Training Programs
Cyberattacks are often successful because bad actors can exploit vulnerabilities in well-intentioned company employees. Through proper cybersecurity education, awareness training programs, and phishing simulation exercises, MSPs can decrease the risk of employee compromise while also bolstering employees as security champions and advocates.
By using engaging content, user-friendly training mechanisms, customized materials, and current training assets, you can ensure employees are educated and can make prudent cybersecurity decisions.
Acquiring More Efficient, Integrated Business Management Tools
Professional Services Automation (PSA) and Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) are both powerful tools for managing your business and having a direct line of sight into your clients’ environments and endpoints. PSA tools allow MSPs to manage ticketing, project management, quoting, billing, and many other routine business functions through one platform, increasing technician efficiency and automating certain processes. RMM eliminates tool fragmentation by creating a space where MSPs can manage all devices, environments, and endpoint functions from one interface. It also allows for automated workflows and standardization of industry best practices.
While many MSPs have stand-alone PSA and RMM tools, advanced integrations between the two platforms can enable one-click workflows for ticketing, automated service desk functionality, and rich business insights with alerts and analytics.
Streamlining Documentation For Relationship Management, Password Storage, And More
It’s hard to keep track of passwords, tokens, and other important documentation for your SMB clients, especially as your MSP business grows. At a minimum in 2023, MSPs should implement secure access management tools to ensure proper user access is provisioned for resources and devices.
According to the State of the MSP Report, 29% of MSPs expect to implement privileged access management in the upcoming year. Secure access management tools increase MSPs’ security posture and ensure compliance with major regulatory requirements such as HIPAA, PCI DSS, CIS, and more. Kick it up a notch by implementing an even more robust IT documentation platform, creating a single repository for passwords, runbooks, documentation, workflows, access control, and more.
Whatever 2023 brings, cyber resiliency and security are primed to remain huge areas of growth, as the threat landscape is evolving so rapidly. With the right technology kit in place, MSPs will be well-positioned for growth and success in the new year.
For more strategies on how to grow and be successful in 2023, make sure to attend our Next Generation MSP Tour, coming to a city near you. Get your tickets and all the details at https://nextgenmsptour.com. Use promo code SUCCESS2023 to drop your tickets to $49!