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7 Things Managed Service Providers Should Keep an Eye On

Much like the businesses they serve, the managed services industry is a rapidly-changing series of gears that just keep churning — and changing. As new innovations introduce themselves to MSP workforces across the globe, the market is expected only to grow and grow, with MarketsandMarkets predicting it to be worth $329.1 billion by 2025.

As one might expect, this will usher in a new era of tools and trends for MSPs to follow, which could be a rigorous journey for some. Competition is fast, and some operations may not have the skills or resources to completely switch around their day-to-day requirements within just a few weeks.

So, to keep managed service providers ahead of the curve, we’re listing the top trends that they should look out for this year — and the future.

1. Hyper-converged Infrastructures

Both businesses and MSPs are expected to benefit significantly from the implementation of hyper-converged infrastructures. While still requiring an intricate and complex installation, MSPs with the right experience and qualifications should have no trouble assisting a business in utilising this trend.

By connecting the gaps between storage, networking and computing, a hyper-converged infrastructure opens the doors for businesses to scale their technical abilities and match future requirements — without the hassle that traditional methods may require. The process will implement a virtual network, virtual SAB and virtual computing to increase the business’s efficiency.

2. Outsourcing, Automation and Cloud Services

As technology leaps to greater heights than ever before, so too has the responsibility of a managed service provider to oversee a growing number of tasks. As a result, IT companies across London have turned to automation for a helping hand, virtually eliminating redundant, time-wasting tasks that can otherwise be completed by an automated system. The benefits include improved productivity, a broader time allowance and an overall boost to efficiency. Most of these are expected to be customised to each MSP’s individual needs, so not all automation may look exactly the same.

The above trend seems to be a result of another, equally important shift in business ideology: outsourcing. Weighed down by an escalating number of requirements, businesses worldwide are showing further reliance on outsourced assistance — which means more chances for MSPs to prove their worth. Expect to see an increased emphasis on customer support and company culture as MSPs aim to set themselves apart.

Finally, cloud technology swings in to provide extensive benefits and easier implementation of new business technology. However, this is not to say the wide availability of cloud resources is simple enough for businesses to manage themselves; it could prove to be the opposite, especially for smaller businesses. As a result, we’ll likely see more MSPs offer cloud computing services, or even a rise of MSPs dedicated entirely to cloud management.

3. Results Matter

In the future, businesses won’t only expect managed service providers to provide base-level IT support and problem-solving — their efforts will need to produce tangible results, as well. As such, contract agreements could very well start detailing specific business goals and expectations, along with a concrete plan from the MSP to meet such requirements.

Fortunately, the wide availability of state-of-the-art analytical tools makes it easy for MSPs to provide result-driven data to their clients, ultimately encouraging both themselves and the businesses they serve to be more efficient.

4. MSP Dependency

It’s hard to find a single person in London who doesn’t own a digital device of some kind, and the rest of the world will only catch up in the following years, with 2025 predicted to see 22 billion connected dev circulation. Of course, this only means a more significant load for businesses to bear as they fight to match the market’s requirements.

To keep themselves afloat, it’s likely that more and more businesses will turn to MSPs for further assistance, and to combat the costs that an in-house IT department would otherwise demand of them.

5. Acquisitions and Mergers

It’s not uncommon for separate industry players to combine their workforces through a merger or acquisition; it seems the managed services industry will be the next to follow the trend. As business requirements expand in scope, MSPs need to have a never-ending supply of innovative tools and technology at their disposal to satisfy clients. For those that find themselves shorthanded or with limited resources, an acquisition or merger can combine two operations into a single, strengthened workforce capable of much more — making for happier customers.

6. Cybercrime Protection

While an essential and prevalent piece of society, online devices come with a dangerous pitfall: cybercrime. Businesses worldwide have fallen victim to malware, ransomware attacks and stolen data time and time again, increasing the need for comprehensive cybersecurity.

Most MSPs are already addressing this issue, but the next few months should see this become a definite requirement as businesses turn to someone who can keep their IT infrastructure safe and secure at all times throughout the year.

7. New Service Model  

Finally, the newest trend MSPs can expect involves offering infrastructures as a service. To combat high upfront costs, many businesses are now searching for providers who can deliver an IT infrastructure on an outsourced basis, including hardware, storage, network components, data centers and more. Some advantages to this approach include improved scalability, enhanced security and reduced costs.

With these trends in mind, your MSP will hopefully be further prepared for the changes to come — and ready to meet them head-on.

About Shane Avron

Shane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.

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