MSPs have suffered amidst the pandemic – but cloud and security services key to the future

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

How are managed service providers (MSPs) coping with the Covid-19 pandemic – and what does their future roadmap look like? A new report from IT management provider SolarWinds has revealed a rocky road, but optimism going forward.

The study, titled ‘Covid-19: Impact and Response’, surveyed 500 MSPs across Europe, North America, and Australia.

Three in five (59%) of those polled said they had applied for government financial relief programs, with three quarters (74%) of those receiving the help they needed. More than 80% of respondents have continued operating at pre-pandemic staffing levels.

The models of work and customer support have understandably changed as a result of the pandemic, with many MSPs adpating their services. A quarter (24%) have allowed delayed payments, with a similar number (23%) offering temporary discounts. 65% said they do not anticipate making any pricing changes to their packages long-term.

MSPs see four key barriers over the coming year: securing new customers, social distancing requirements at office and customer sites; lower IT budgets and spending; and adapting to staff and clients working from home. Security services will be key to future growth, alongside cloud services; more than half (51%) are set to increase their security offerings and 47% cloud services respectively.

Two in five large MSPs polled also said they will anticipate a merger or acquisition in the future to support expansion.

“To see the overwhelming majority of MSPs retain their staff during a time period characterised by uncertainty is truly heartening, especially given the important role MSPs have played in helping businesses digitally transform,” said Colin Knox, VP community at SolarWinds MSP. “The technology industry, and the channel, is resilient but also resourceful, and this crisis has re-enforced the value MSPs bring to businesses.

“Without MSPs as an extension of the team many businesses would have been lost, and wouldn’t have been able to support remote working on such a vast, immediate scale,” Knox added. “The knowledge, expertise, and skillset of MSPs has been crucial in this changing climate.”

Photo by Emmanuél Appiah on Unsplash

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