MSPs are focusing on automation and integration between their core tools to improve efficiency, service delivery and cost management, according to Kaseya.
Automation, cybersecurity and integration
About 90% of respondents hailed automation as a crucial technology for their business because it improves efficiency, allows them to take on more clients and generates more revenue by automating common processes like endpoint management, monitoring, patching, ticket resolution and even cybersecurity.
64% of the executive and 54% of technician respondents picked automation, including auto-remediation of tickets, as their top remote monitoring and management (RMM) feature.
In year-over-year comparison, there is 15% jump in respondents who chose cybersecurity as the top IT challenge their clients expect to face this year.
About 65% of respondents said most, or all, of their clients have asked for cybersecurity advice. 90% of respondents agree that integration between core applications is critical to their business. It helps them streamline their processes, reduce duplication of efforts and automate repetitive tasks.
“This report drives home the importance of automation and integration to make MSPs more productive, efficient and profitable,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer and GM of security products, Kaseya. “Cybersecurity will continue to be a pressing issue, and MSPs will need to be up-to-speed on their security offerings to keep pace with SMB demand.”
Poor integration remains a core problem
Lack of integration between solutions continues to hinder daily operations and productivity. In the survey, 39% of respondents reported that the biggest obstacle to business growth is the inability of technicians to maximize software usage.
About 63% of executives surveyed said that integration enabled them to take on more clients and expand their business, with 54% saying fewer technicians were needed to manage the workload. 49% of the executives, also said integration helped them cut costs.
Not surprising, about 60% of both executives and technicians surveyed are dissatisfied or neutral when it comes to work-life balance. Managing everyday mundane tasks causes them to struggle with getting their workload under control and even end up experiencing acute burnout. This can be alleviated by automating some of those mundane tasks.
Cybersecurity drives growth
The top five services that respondents intend to offer in 2023 fall under the cybersecurity umbrella, covering identity and access management, security awareness training and dark web monitoring. With cybercrime exploding, the percentage of respondents who back up their customers’ SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace or Salesforce, increased to 83% from 78% in 2022.
32% of the respondents evaluate their threat landscape monthly and 35% evaluate quarterly, while only 11% do so annually, and a mere 1% never do so. Technician respondents said that enhanced security services recorded the most growth in the last 12 months; executives reported it as second place. (For executives, subscription-based managed services took the top spot, with business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) service featured among the top four service categories.)
MSPs anticipate these challenges
The primary challenges MSPs anticipate are acquiring more customers as the MSP space intensifies (35% of executives) and dealing with advanced and sophisticated security threats (21% percent of technicians). Supply chain issues are leveling off – the percentage of respondents who said supply chain impact is significant dropped from 35% to 28% in 2023.
Let’s talk about break-fix, co-managed IT and M&A
51% of the technician respondents reported break-fix as their most time-consuming activity. However, it is only the third most lucrative revenue stream according to executive respondents (39%).
Subscription-based managed services is the top revenue generator according to 68% of executive participants and the second most time-consuming activity according to 43% of technicians.
When it comes to what drives the biggest gain the break-fix model, executives cited hardware problems, while technicians said for them, it’s access control.
34% of the respondents said they get between 1 and 25 percent of their revenue from co-managed IT services. Another 29% said they get between 26 and 50 percent of their revenue from it.
About 51% of the respondents are keen to participate in some form of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) activity. Of this group, about 14% said it is their primary growth strategy. Last year, only 36% of the respondents were bullish on it.