The Do's and Don'ts of Transitioning to a Managed Security Services Model

The global managed security services market is expected to reach $65.5 billion by 2026.

Edward Gately, Senior News Editor

August 13, 2021

7 Slides

VARs and resellers are increasingly interested in offering managed security services to generate recurring revenue and business growth.

But offering these types of services creates a variety of challenges for the provider. Those involve procurement flexibility, partnership program requirements, portfolio range and more.

The global managed security services market was worth nearly $22.7 billion in 2018 and will exceed $65.5 billion by 2026, according to Verified Market Research.

Mark Romano is WatchGuard Technologies‘ director of worldwide channel and field marketing. He said managed security services are in high demand among VARs and resellers. A real push has been the lack of talent available to provide security services at every company.


WatchGuard’s Mark Romano

Security has become even more aggressively necessary, he said. That’s because cybercriminals are coming after data and/or company assets more than ever before.

“Cellphones, Microsoft products, cable TV, you name it — everything went to a monthly service,” Romano said. “It now makes a lot of sense that if I can bring on a security provider to take care of all of my security needs and do that on a monthly basis, I’ve just reduced my capital expense significantly and I could spend that money somewhere else. Now, I’ve made it an operational expense. That’s also the challenge for MSPs to get it right. Because if they’re not priced right or they’re not providing the right service, they’ll lose clients or lose money. So that’s really that driving factor of why these things are changing.”

Redesign Plan Crucial

When VARs and resellers transition to a managed security services model, “you’re taking what is a traditional break-fix business where you’re acquiring a certain amount of income every single month and breaking it up into little pieces,” Romano said.

“It’s a matter of how I redesign my business so that I can move into that space,” he said. “Whether you’re going to become a hybrid reseller … or am I going to move completely into managed services or managed security services for the clientele that I’m servicing? The next big thing is, you need to become that trusted adviser if you’re going to get into that business. Do you know enough about the space? It’s not enough to say there’s money to be made here. Do you know enough about the space to say, ‘I can become your trusted adviser in the security space and have you trust that I’m going to be able to provide these services effectively over time and prove to you that I’m doing them and still make them cost effective for you?'”

It’s probably not the right time to go 100% managed security services, Romano said. A business model that includes 50%-60% managed security services is an “incredibly safe spot to be in now.”

“You’ll be able to balance your business and your books much more effectively along with your cash flow,” he said.

Scroll through our slideshow above for Romano’s five tips for transitioning to a managed security services model, and more cybersecurity news, including the latest on the Accenture ransomware attack.

Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Edward Gately or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Edward Gately

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

As news editor, Edward Gately covers cybersecurity, new channel programs and program changes, M&A and other IT channel trends. Prior to Informa, he spent 26 years as a newspaper journalist in Texas, Louisiana and Arizona.

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