MicroAge sought feedback from IT professionals to explore the performance of modern (and not-so-modern) managed service providers (MSPs). The survey found that even satisfactory MSPs are falling short in certain key areas: cloud strategy, security, and IT spending.
MSPs and their clients falling behind as remote workforce evolves
As remote and hybrid workforces continue to evolve at a breakneck pace, MSPs that cannot modernize will find themselves—and their clients—falling behind.
In newly remote connected workforces, IT professionals urgently need robust cloud strategies and services. Gartner estimates global public cloud spend to increase by 18% this year, with 70% of organizations increasing cloud spending to support a connected workforce.
A combined 62% of survey respondents cite either cloud strategy or cloud services as an area where their IT struggles with a lack of support. A combined 46% of survey respondents cite either cloud strategy or cloud services as an area where their IT struggles with a lack of support.
Half do not even know if their MSP offers them. This alarming pattern points to another revealing trend in this survey: lack of communication between the MSP and the customer. Clients have no idea what they are entitled to with their MSP, which is a massive failure on the provider’s fault.
“A modern MSP should be helping organizations swiftly embrace the new reality of remote connected workforces,” said Kyle Yencer, MicroAge VP of services and connected workforce.
“Are they still heavily reliant on file servers, or are they migrating to cloud services and Microsoft Teams? Are they helping to cut down on excess applications and alerts? These are some of the things we look for when identifying MSPs embracing modern solutions versus those stuck in their ways and ultimately holding their clients back. Modern MSPs should be working for users, not against them.”
MSPs affecting organizations’ growth
An overwhelming majority of respondents cited their MSP as affecting their organization’s growth. At the same time, however, almost half are unimpressed with how modern their current MSP is, categorizing its overall performance as “in the Dark Ages” or “middle of the road.”
MSPs are strong in IT support, but lagging in providing the cloud services that are increasingly vital for growth in today’s connected workforces. MSPs need to modernize by actively embracing new technologies, like cloud, collaboration, monitoring, and security solutions, highlighted in the survey as having the least recognition as part of MSP’s offerings.
Despite the fact that ransomware attacks have risen by 93% over the first half of 2021, only 31% of the survey respondents are using MSPs for security. Less than half surveyed even know that MSPs offer security services. These results show that the respondents may have an overabundance of monitoring and security tools.
A key marker of what comprises a modern MSP is that it eliminates excess tools needed for network management, cutting down on alerts, expenses, and time required. In the current threat landscape of frequent data breaches and ransomware attacks, MSPs should be making security a top priority for clients.
IT professionals who do not leverage those technology solutions and services through an MSP risk swiftly falling behind their competitors. Organizations that use MSPs should prioritize security as an integral part of their business and seek out MSPs that provide what they need.
Most people using the same MSP for three to five years
The survey also found that while almost half see room for improvement, most people have used the same MSP for three to five years. The number one reason someone may select a different MSP is cost concerns, but a combined 63% of respondents expressed additional reasons.
IT downtime was cited by 22% as a reason to reevaluate their primary MSP; 18% cited obsolete technology; and 18% cited poor technical support. MSP users are expressing concern about their MSP not keeping up with rapid technological advancements—particularly with cloud services. They are facing an increased need for flexible, remotely connected networks and workplaces, requiring adaptive IT support.
If MSPs are going to charge more for their services, as respondents fear, users will start asking themselves what they are really getting in return.