IT faces the same old challenges around costs, security and managing the cloud

Last time, we looked at Rackspace’s survey of how IT spending has been impacted by COVID-19. Today, we have more recent reports from Kaseya about how priorities have changed for both IT practitioners and IT leaders.

Kaseya markets its own IT management platform and related tools for internal IT departments and for MSPs to help them grow their businesses. That makes it a direct competitor of ConnectWise. Those of you familiar with HyAlto know that we are integrated with ConnectWise. We offer users of ConnectWise Manage powerful capabilities to streamline and optimize their customer billing through automation.

Competitor or not, Kaseya’s annual benchmark surveys provide valuable insight into the marketplace. Let’s first look at its 2020 IT operations survey results report. This one includes responses from 335 IT leaders (director, VP or other C-level) at small to mid-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Managing and improving security and reducing IT costs remain the top priorities for 2021. This is welcome news, because it speaks directly to our sweet spot of opportunity. In short, our platform can help MSPs help their SME clients reduce IT costs.

Survey findings are not ground-breaking – that’s a good thing

Security and cost reduction have topped industry surveys from Kaseya and others for several years now. It does, however, provide a certain comfort and reassurance that this predictable trend continues to hold true despite the chaos and upset of the pandemic.

In addition, 73 per cent of respondents expect to either maintain current IT spending levels or increase them in 2021 – the need to maintain or boost IT investment means there will continue to be lots of work to go around.

Despite the pandemic, most businesses continue to grow – this is reported as the main driver of increased IT spending.

Lastly, 60 per cent said they expect to invest in IT automation for 2021, with the key goal of being able to do more with less. This only makes sense, if IT cost reduction is a priority. Automation is key to drive gains in cost efficiency.

Many SMEs will need trusted partners external to their IT departments to make this happen – 34 per cent are concerned about not having enough IT budget or resources to meet demands.

It’s always all about the cloud

For many respondents, the answer to all this is to source more cloud-based resources. Cloud migration remains a priority for 32 per cent of respondents. Fifty-four per cent expect to maintain or increase their spend on IaaS, while 57 per cent expect to maintain or increase spend on SaaS.

On the other hand, 21 per cent are concerned about managing cloud resources and costs.

Kaseya’s other benchmark survey polls IT practitioners about their technical priorities. This one also finds that cloud migration and increasing productivity through automation tops the priority list for 2021, at 42 per cent and 44 per cent, respectively.

Cost and budget are also issues for this crowd – 32 per cent reported not enough IT budget or resources to meet demands and 24 per cent are concerned about managing cloud resources and costs.

In some respects, nothing much has changed with the pandemic – the same concerns and priorities remain compared to previous years. In other respects, it’s a brave new world.

Either way, it’s the MSP that has a key role to play as enabler, advisor and steward of ROI. It just needs to have upgraded its own operations, processes and range of services to be able to rise to the occasion.

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