State of the market report: MSP 2022

| By:
Sam Callaghan

Over the next 12 months, the highest priority for managed service providers (MSPs) is strengthening cybersecurity and building a robust security contingency strategy for their infrastructures and applications.  Threats are multiplying at a rate that is almost impossible to predict. In this landscape, cybersecurity can no longer be considered an add-on to drive up margins. The increasing complexity of IT environments and the growth of outsourced models mean that partnering with the right MSP is more important than ever.

Organisations today value partnerships with MSPs and their expertise, but there are many factors to consider when evaluating a vendor-MSP partnership. We as an industry are realising that businesses now expect flexible offers and services, strong technology collaboration, and access to technical support. There needs to be more than just offering a good product. As a result of this shift, pricing models have become more varied and complex. The growing demand for technology has further fuelled growth in the MSP market, making way for new MSPs to join the already crowded space. Hence, it’s important to stand out from the crowd and offer innovative services and service models.

Based on findings from the Channel Partner Insights (CPI) State of the Market Report 2022 that ConnectWise sponsored, I’ve shortlisted three key areas for you to consider when evaluating your service models and building your tech stack.

  1. Partner programme

The 150 IT leaders surveyed confirmed that continued investment in partner programmes was the factor that MSPs value the most when choosing a vendor. A successful partner programme is about empowering MSPs to develop tech intelligence through a perpetual-learning culture.

With emerging new tech, it’s important for MSPs to understand its impact on their business. As part of an IT software company that prioritises partner success, I believe a partner programme should be in consistent review, iteration, and evolution journey as the tech landscape expands.

One of the philosophies behind the ConnectWise Partner Program is to put your business first. The programme has helped partners achieve greater business growth and was one of the reasons why it was named the winner of the Best MSP Partner Program at the Channel Partner Insight MSP Innovation Awards Europe 2022 recently.

Sophos, another vendor shortlisted in the Best MSP Partner Program category, is ramping up their partner programme with a new strategy and brand positioning—cybersecurity as a service. Recognising that cybersecurity has become too complex for organisations to manage effectively, Scott Tyson, Senior Manager MSP & CSP (EMEA) at Sophos, acknowledged that customers are increasingly turning to cybersecurity services that include round-the-clock expertise and world-leading technology needed to stay ahead of today’s advanced attacks. 

  1. Vendor priorities

To help grow their business, surveyed MSPs want vendors who have excellent products and are true to their word. As an MSP, you want your vendor to share their forward-looking practices to keep your finger on the pulse. Shortlisted for five awards at CPI’s MSP Innovation Awards Europe 2022, more than any other vendor in the market, we at ConnectWise have been delivering solutions that meet and exceed the needs of MSP. Our mission is to empower IT solution providers with unmatched software, services, and community to achieve their most ambitious vision of success.

As a channel-first company, Hornetsecurity has also made four strategic acquisitions in the past year and a half, looking to broaden their product portfolio and better serve MSPs in the industry. By offering a wider product set from a single vendor, and conveniently managed through one central Control Pane, Hornetsecurity’s vendor-first strategy is to offer ease and convenience for MSPs, and better support MSPs through their growth. 

  1. Ability to adapt to future challenges

With the imminent recession and rising interest rates affecting organisations regardless of industry, macro-economic challenges are one of the most significant threats to MSPs moving forward. This is followed by concerns about vendors cutting benefits from their partner programmes. We predict that MSPs will be more inclined to work with vendors who will prioritise maintaining or enhancing their partner programmes in the future.

This is a crucial time for MSPs to modernise their IT stack and differentiate themselves based on expertise, automation, agility, and time to value. Over the past few years, Zenzero has seen cloud platforms and modern workplace environments become more pervasive, and this exciting wave of innovation will continue as MSPs adopt a wider range of even more innovative technologies.

Clients today can adapt to artificial intelligence and virtual reality technologies quickly. This has provided great leaps forward in productivity and innovation from the deployment of new technologies and is fast becoming the core business of MSPs across Europe. 

If you’re an MSP interested in learning how to branch out to niche segments and capture more market share in 2023, I encourage you to download and read the full report.