Reasons to Use Managed Services in 2021

| By: Geoffrey Willison

We are all well-aware that COVID-19 has upended just about every facet of life in 2020. We’re also all operating under the mentality that this is our new reality, though we are hopeful that conditions will return to a more “normal” state in the future.  

Yet, one thing that hasn’t changed is the need for professional IT services. In fact, as remote work has become more commonplace, IT needs have become more necessary and a bit more complex. 

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In The State of Managed Services 2020 report released by TSIA at the beginning of the year, we learned that the revenue ratio between products and services for the T&S 50 (an index of 50 of the largest tech companies) has flipped, with services now comprising 60% of revenue. That goes to show that managed services continues to be a growing industry. Also, according to, of all processes small businesses outsource, IT services remain at the top.  

As you finalize your business plan for 2021 and strategize ways to acquire and retain customers, it may help understand why small-to-medium-sized businesses (SMBs) seek the services that IT professionals offer. 

Why SMB owners demand managed services 

When thinking about how to best position your managed IT services, it’s worth considering what points make for the most compelling sell. Remember that while you may think SMBs should adapt your business model for one reason, they may have an entirely different set of priorities that you should appeal to. So, what should you lead with when marketing and selling to prospective clients? 

According to the Salesforce Small and Medium Business Trends Report, the most constraining factors on SMB operations include access to capital, finding the right technology to meet their needs, and hiring the right talent. And, on everybody’s mind right now is how to address growing cybersecurity threats and concerns. 

So, why exactly will businesses be seeking your managed services in 2021? Let’s break down these top four drivers. 

1. Access to newer technologies

Often, the SMBs you aim to partner with have over-burdened IT staff with employees who may lack the skills and training necessary for certain tasks or can’t handle the whole of the company’s network on their own. In response, these companies recognize the value of working with an outside technical support team, such as a managed service provider (MSP). Not only does IT outsourcing help with having an extra team of IT experts able to troubleshoot and remediate issues that arise, clients benefit from having access to the latest technology and business-grade solutions that maintain uptime and profitability, such as remote monitoring and management (RMM), backup and disaster recovery (BDR) and cloud computing. 

Investing in the managed services business model tackles existing labor constraints and prevents internal IT departments from always having to play catch-up. By working with an MSP, businesses gain access to business-grade technology and leverage tools to increase their IT infrastructure's reliability and receive a virtual CIO (vCIO). The role of a vCIO is critical in 2021 as it helps in understanding and managing the evolving technology landscape—allowing your clients to better plan for long-term goals and scale their business. 

2. ROI and cost savings

One of the biggest business values of managed services is greater cost savings. IT budgets consist of many items: hardware costs, software and network infrastructure costs, and maintenance costs, to name a few. Also, labor cost is significant for any business, but especially for SMBs who rely on managed service providers.

Maybe the company you want to work with needs to reduce the size of its IT department because the cost of paying their current staff is far too high. It could also be the case that the company lacks a dedicated IT team, and employees must compensate by performing technical tasks outside of their core area of expertise, slowing productivity, and preventing opportunity to grow.

With the managed services business model, customers can more easily predict their IT costs on a month-to-month basis. You can break down the ROI of managed services for SMBs by explaining how your services will free up their staff's time, allowing them to devote more to higher-value projects they're adequately equipped to manage while increasing overall productivity.

Then, be sure to review these cost savings in your quarterly business reviews (QBRs). These meetings will help you prove that your services are valuable and help clients understand the part you play in maximizing employee productivity and satisfaction and reaching business goals.

3. Enhanced security

Security is quickly becoming a vexing issue for all small businesses. A recent study published by Ponemon Institute found that 66% of SMBs worldwide reported a cyberattack within the previous year, with business email compromise and ransomware attacks leading the charge. That's alarming, and it's a figure that is sure to continue growing. 

Prospective clients will turn to you as an expert in cybersecurity services. In fact, according to our second annual cybersecurity report, 91% of SMBs would start using or change providers to get the right cybersecurity and would pay up to 30% more for those services. In terms of cybersecurity, clients will expect you to provide anything from proper endpoint management to HIPAA compliance. 

Right now is the time to evaluate the cybersecurity services you offer and make sure that you and your clients are building a risk-first culture. 

4. Peace of mind

This is such an important benefit of managed IT services. Your clients don’t want to have to worry about their daily IT operations. They don’t want to have to second-guess the reliability and speediness of their network connection. Similarly, they don’t want to ever have to worry about the state of their IT environment. They choose to work with an MSP in order to get 24/7/365 coverage and spend more of their time focusing on growing their business. 

Services like RMM and the security suite you offer detect potential disturbances and vulnerabilities, allowing you to resolve these problems before they develop into more critical threats. When you offer fully managed IT support, you can troubleshoot and remediate glitches or bugs before the client is any the wiser. Again, they’re paying you to worry about these things for them so that they can enjoy daily peace of mind.