If cloud has taken ‘a backseat’ for MSPs, it’s because too many remain stuck in second gear

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The cloud industry reports and forecasts continue to roll out, providing snapshots of the state of affairs prior to when the pandemic caused the world to pivot. As we find a new normal, it bears reviewing where we were to better understand where we are now headed.

Provided that is, those pre-COVID-19 industry forecasts were on the money to begin with.

Case in point: The 2020 MSP Benchmark Survey Results Report released a few weeks back by Kaseya.

The latest from Kaseya is a great counterpoint to the 2020 Flexera State of the Cloud Report that we talked about last time. Whereas Flexera isn’t really focused on the MSP market, Kaseya like HyAlto, lives and breathes it.

Kaseya’s findings are based on a survey of 1,300 owners and technicians of MSP firms of all sizes, spread over 50 countries (with about 76 per cent in North America, including Mexico and Puerto Rico).

Plucking out the cloud-related stats, we find some interesting patterns. Kaseya goes so far as to say that while “cloud support may take a backseat for now, it is still a viable option for MSPs to capitalize on. MSPs have finally grasped the importance of cohesive applications and have no qualms leveraging its benefits to drive better profit margins.”

It’s that “backseat part” that we find rather heavy-handed, given the report’s findings (we’ll get to that). Kaseya is also as little scant on details as to why MSPs would be doing so in any case, though it does preface its report by stating:

“While some MSPs seem to get the hang of growing their business, others struggle since they spend a great deal of time looking for, training and retaining skilled technicians, dealing with inefficient remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools, failing to deliver the services promised and falling prey to cyberattacks.”

So what was the collective cloud-related sentiment of those 1,300 MSPs?

First, despite the fact that public and private cloud adoption are among the top IT needs for 2020, MSP management of cloud environments has dropped from 2019’s reported levels. For public cloud, it’s fallen from 70 per cent of respondents in 2019 to 56 per cent. For private, from 59 per cent last year to 49 per cent this year.

Why? Kaseya doesn’t say. We will be so bold as to infer it might be related to those points Kaseya made in its preface: skilled labour issues and outdated RMM tools. The cloud markets are growing briskly – there must be internal issues that are preventing MSPs from taking advantage of that.

The report finds that security concerns are a top priority for MSPs. That’s nothing new –pick up just about any IT industry report or forecast and security almost always tops the list of chief fear or concern or priority. It’s something which with any internal IT department or any manner of IT services provider must contend.

What comes after security is perhaps more telling. This report finds that the second greatest MSP client need in 2020 is cloud – the sum total of public cloud adoption/ migration/support, hybrid cloud adoption/migration and private cloud adoption/migration.

We would respectively argue, then, that the cloud is not in decline – not when it comes to MSP client demand for cloud-related services and support.

Kaseya’s own findings validate this. Another question it asked MSPs concerned the status of services revenue. Some 47 per cent reported cloud management services revenue is up. Infrastructure monitoring and management, which can include cloud, was also up for 59 per cent of MSPs.

We could go on, but you get the idea. MSPs don’t lack for cloud-related growth opportunities. If cloud support is at all taking a “backseat” as a revenue growth area, there must be another issue at play.

It’s reasonable again to assume it rests with the efficiency, flexibility and scaleability of an MSP’s business model. This extends through the catalogue of services and support that it offers, how quickly and efficiently it can provision and support service delivery, and how quickly and accurately it can monitor service usage by clients and bill for it at month end.

To prosper in a multi-cloud world where clients demand the flexibility of choice and a trusted expert to guide them and ensure best value for money (that being you, the MSP), you need the right RMM tools for the job.

That’s where we come in. Contact us to learn more.

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