We recently surveyed roughly 2,300 managed service providers (MSPs) from all corners of the globe to learn about business trends, lifestyle habits, annual revenue, and more. In this year’s report, we uncovered a number of new trends, but also found some similarities in comparison to the year prior.
Some of the key findings from the survey included:
- Most MSPs serve less than 100 clients, offer one-year contracts, and still offer break-fix services in some shape or form.
- The majority of MSPs today focus their business efforts on a specific vertical (or verticals). More than 50% of MSPs specialize services for healthcare companies.
- To keep on top of industry trends, MSPs subscribe to a variety of channel publications, with Channel Futures among their top picks.
- 92% of MSPs are active daily on social networks, particularly Facebook, LinkedIn and Reddit.
- MSPs all over the world are tuning in to some popular, binge-worthy shows like "Game of Thrones," "Stranger Things," and "Mr. Robot."
- Marketing/sales was deemed the top business challenge faced by this year’s survey pool, followed by: staffing/training, growing pains and ransomware/cybersecurity.
Of the findings listed, this was second year in a row MSPs called out marketing/sales as their biggest business hurdle. We took a deeper dive into these issues and asked MSPs to specify which areas under this category they found particularly challenging.
Lead generation was at the top of the list, followed by cold calling, hiring sales talent and market differentiation. Staffing/training was second on the list, with MSPs specifically identifying recruiting quality technology, sales and marketing talent, training and retention as their issues in this area.
It likely comes as no surprise that ransomware/cybersecurity also made the list. If there is anything we’ve learned in the last year, it’s that ransomware has become a global cybersecurity problem. More frequent reports of attacks lead us to believe it may not be going away any time soon. MSPs cited that lack of awareness by SMBs was largely the issue around ransomware.
As a former MSP, I can relate to just about all of the challenges listed above. The best way to work through them is to begin by educating yourself. Read up on industry best practices as much as you can, network with your peers at events tolearn from them, and lean on your vendor for support when you need it. From there, you can better educate your clients about the need for your services, and help alleviate headaches caused by things like ransomware--before they happen.
To help address these issues, we listed a number of resources on each of these topics throughout the report. You can download the full report here.
Eric Torres is Channel Development Manager, Datto.
This guest blog is part of a Channel Futures sponsorship.