Kaseya® has released the results of its 2021 MSP Benchmark Survey. The tenth annual survey was conducted in December 2020, after nearly a year of remote work, and asked 1,000 owners and technicians of MSP firms in over 50 countries about their learnings from the past year and how business priorities have evolved for the year ahead.
“In our current work-from-anywhere environment, MSPs have their hands full enabling and maintaining business operations for their customers. Despite the pandemic, a sweeping majority (91%) of these MSPs recognize the importance of adding new offerings to their business to increase profits and revenue,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer at Kaseya. “MSPs and their customers faced extraordinary challenges when it came to remote workforce management, IT security and backup and disaster recovery. Even so, these three areas present the biggest opportunities for growth as we move into the post-pandemic era.”
As in years past, an overwhelming majority (73%) of MSPs identify platform integration as critically important to their business in order to become more efficient and profitable. Additionally, only 20% of MSPs say they sought support for sales and marketing from their vendors, signifying a huge gap where vendors can go beyond technology to aid their MSP partners.
“The survey results showed that the value of a complete, integrated platform like Kaseya IT Complete is in not only minimizing the time lost switching between the tools MSPs need but also the time gained to focus on revenue-generating, critical tasks,” Puglia continued. “The pandemic served as a catalyst in the surge for MSPs’ services. With the help of sales and marketing implementation resources like Kaseya Powered Services, MSPs will have both the knowledge and the power to accelerate their business.”
Cybersecurity services take the lead
COVID-19 expanded the office perimeter that overworked IT teams must keep secure. Small and midsize businesses are increasingly looking to MSPs for their security expertise and support to simultaneously navigate a multitude of cyberattacks, while also managing the economic fallout of the pandemic.
This year’s report showed cybersecurity becoming more and more critical to SMBs – 77% of MSPs reported that their clients were hit with a cyberattack and a majority of MSPs said clients are now looking to the MSP to advise them on how to protect themselves. A whopping 65% of MSPs increased their revenue from delivering cybersecurity services – even in the face of a global economic recession.
With more MSPs recognizing that they have a bullseye on their back – (approximately 1 in 4 MSPs feel their business is less secure today), service providers are feeling the “security heat” from all directions.
Other key findings from Kaseya’s 2021 MSP Benchmark survey include:
- The need for compliance services grows. Between the new CMMC (cybersecurity maturity model certification) defense contractor requirements and Virginia’s latest addition to increasingly common state-driven data privacy laws, a majority (approximately 70%) of MSPs agree that their clients struggle to meet compliance requirements. However, only about half of MSPs surveyed provide compliance services currently.
As industry dependence on cloud-based software and other connected technologies grows, regulators will continue to enact data privacy and security laws. MSPs have an opportunity to develop and leverage a niche expertise in this space to help their clients comply with an increasingly complex set of regulations.
- Disaster events highlighted a need for consistent data backup and cloud management support. Beyond the challenges brought on by the pandemic, wildfires and winter storms have impacted business continuity in new ways. Despite these challenges for on-premise backup, the majority of the MSPs surveyed (75%) use a combination of local and cloud backup for their data. Less than a quarter (19%) rely on cloud backup alone.
Another outcome of the pandemic is a huge jump in the number of MSPs backing up their clients’ public cloud SaaS applications – like Office 365, G-Suite and Salesforce – with nearly 70% of MSPs now providing this service compared to only half in 2019. As a result, 54% of MSPs reported an increase in cloud management revenue last year.
These findings serve as an important reminder to MSPs to regularly test their backup and disaster recovery strategies. That being said, fewer MSPs are testing their disaster recovery programs weekly and monthly while more are relying on annual testing when compared to the previous year (30% in 2020 versus 17% in 2019). This trend demonstrates that the onus of frequent testing can be more than what most MSPs can handle, and therefore amplifies the need for greater testing automation.
- MSPs want more integrated tools for remote support. With ongoing remote work, MSPs have found themselves spread thin between disjointed tools to manage their varied responsibilities. Unsurprisingly, security and cloud management services both saw particularly rapid growth through the ongoing pandemic as more businesses sought support from MSPs to secure their cloud-based collaboration tools for their decentralized workforces.
As stated earlier, a majority of MSPs feel that the integration of core MSP applications, like RMM and PSA tools, can help their organization drive better bottom-line profits. Of these tools, RMM is the most important application with 65% of MSPs prioritizing this solution.
“We hope MSPs can use the findings in this report to inform strong decision-making in 2021. Based on the insights, there is tremendous opportunity for service providers to diversify their offerings and tackle any IT issue with a single platform that produces greater efficiency, lowers costs, and drives higher profitability,” Puglia added.
For more details and a comprehensive analysis of the research, download the 2021 Kaseya MSP Benchmark Survey Report here.