As an MSP, you’re well acquainted with the daily challenges of managing your clients’ critical business solutions while also growing your own business. With the unrelenting grind to meet clients’ needs first, it’s sometimes only at industry events like Navigate that you have an opportunity to learn about new strategies that can help drive your business forward. Over the last year, I’ve focused my energies on growing my expertise in the healthcare field because of the increasing need healthcare providers now have to protect patient information due to the more stringent compliance requirements recently imposed by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).
As a growth-focused advisor to MSPs, here are the three key reasons why I view the healthcare industry as a major growth opportunity in 2016 and beyond:
Reason #1: Healthcare Providers’ IT Needs Are Exponentially Growing
The healthcare industry continues to advance at a quickening pace. More healthcare coverage, aging baby boomers and a focus on fitness and health, among other drivers, are increasing the need for healthcare professionals. The Healthcare Staffing Report (May 2015) predicts jobs in healthcare will grow by 13 percent over the next two years. IT organizations will be called upon to supplement aging desktops, thin clients and networks with cloud computing and mobile devices that can help healthcare providers scale existing capital investments to accommodate additional employees.
Most MSPs specialize in at least one, if not several, vertical markets. According to the MSPmentor 501’s survey results for 2015, healthcare ranked among the top five vertical markets served by MSPs at 59 percent. I predict it will be the top market by 2016, or shortly thereafter. If you’re looking to solve the challenges of an industry with unlimited growth potential for your own business – healthcare is where it’s at.
Reason #2: Unprecedented Levels of Compliance and Operational Requirements Drive Healthcare’s Toughest Challenges
From federal regulations requiring industry-wide compliance to the multi-faceted access and operational nature of healthcare staffs’ IT needs to serve patients with higher quality at a lower cost, the healthcare industry is feeling the pressure inside and out.
Data security alone is a major contributor to the healthcare industry’s IT challenges. Dependence on unchecked mobile devices and outdated computing infrastructures expose healthcare providers to a variety of threats and HIPAA violations. According to the Ponemon Institute Fifth Annual Benchmark Study on Privacy & Security of Healthcare Data for May 2015, the average cost of a security breach in healthcare organizations exceeds $2.1 million. Meanwhile, changing HIPAA requirements continue to plague healthcare providers that are not only failing to protect patient information but also lack a thorough understanding of the law.
MSPs that make it easier for healthcare organizations to comply with HIPAA and pass the new required annual audits will become invaluable to their customers and will be in a good position to grow their business as their customers’ needs increase.
Reason #3: MSPs Who Master Healthcare IT Challenges Will Build Bridges vs. Reacting to Road Blocks
Like any other competitive business landscape, it’s critical to be among the first to establish expertise in a new market. If you can provide a solution that addresses healthcare providers’ concerns for managing security, remote and mobile device access, operational efficiencies, HIPAA updates, and more, you won’t have to work hard to sell your services. You will become a sought-after essential expert by healthcare organizations that need your expertise to keep their IT infrastructure up, running and secure.
If the healthcare market sounds intriguing, I invite you to stop by and see me at the Vertiscale KIOSK in the Partner Pavilion at Navigate 2015 to continue the discussion.
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By Gretchen Hoffman
By Gretchen Hoffman