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We just wrapped up our 2019 “MSP FastTrack” hangout series with “Top 2020 Predictions for MSPs by MSPs.” To prepare for the hangout, Continuum took a survey among MSPs that found that 38% of MSPs’ responded that their “top 2” predictions involved the impact cybersecurity will have on 2020. Followed by the impact from automation then Artificial Intelligence (AI). Our panelists all vehemently agreed that Cybersecurity and Automation will be key to MSP success in 2020.

Our panelists on our hangout: Francis West from Westtek, Tim Lasonde of Focus Technology Solutions, and our own Joy Beland who owned her own MSP, discussed their predictions in more detail:

Automation will be Key in RMM and Cybersecurity

All panelists agreed that automation of routine tasks would be and should be a critical focus area for MSPs in the coming year. Doing more with less and letting machine learning and automation take over redundant, non-revenue generating tasks is something that will continue to provide areas of new revenue generation and cost savings. 

One way MSPs can utilize automation is to partner with someone like Continuum, who offers around the clock NOC and SOC support and automation for high-volume, repetitive tasks related to network monitoring and management and cybersecurity like password resets, patching etc.

In a recent survey, 54% MSP business leaders said they will increase their focus on automation across cybersecurity and RMM. And they explained that they feel cybercrime, particularly targeted at MSPs themselves, will continue to increase exponentially in 2020 so they need to be ready by getting their house secure as well as their clients’.  Our panelists agreed with this emphatically.

They stressed that Cyber security needs to be a focus for MSPs for their business as well as their client’s business. In fact, in this same survey, 57% of MSPs said they plan to add MDR as a service. This is supported by their unified view of cybersecurity in order to protect their own businesses, as well as their clients, from the growing risk of cyber-attacks.

In fact, Francis declared that “If MSPs are victims of a cyber-attack their business value can drop as much as 70%.”

Mergers and Acquisitions Will Continue at a Record Pace

According to our panelist, Tim Lasonde, to address the growing skills gap, and capitalize on a year of record growth, MSPs will continue to acquire other companies who have complementary people, skills and services to help grow their existing business.

Tim said “MSPs made a lot of money last year and all experienced record growth against their revenue targets and KPI’s so the best way to spend that money and continue on a trajectory of growth is to go out and acquire a company in a new vertical or geographic area.”  On the flip side, if you were thinking of selling your business and saw the kinds of gains other MSPs saw in 2019, you might be in a good position with buyers now that your business is valued higher.

MSPs Should Continue Focusing on their Business Metrics

Given the increase in mergers and acquisitions with both MSPs and the technology they use, our panelist, Francis West, stressed, “MSPs need to look at their numbers especially as they add all these new layers of services. They need to look at their pricing models even beyond just the overall cost of the product plus x% and charge properly or they are going to come up short.”

This also underscores the need for MSP business leaders to have good technology partners that can help them focus on larger business issues. 


More Mid-Sized Companies Will Outsource IT Functions to MSPs

In our hangout series throughout 2019, our MSP panelists repeatedly stressed how important it is to be set up to relieve some of the burden on the technical and services side so that MSPs can focus “on the business” rather than get stuck “in the business” putting out fires and focusing on things that won’t help to grow their revenue.

According to Joy Beland, “more mid-sized businesses who haven’t traditionally gone out and secured services from MSPs will take a hard look at their internal capabilities and bandwidth and will look to outsource security technology and support services in particular, to MSPs.”

There is a huge opportunity for MSPs to secure new, additional revenue by offering cybersecurity to clients who may not have typically fit their customer profile or who might need specialized cybersecurity expertise that they just can’t find internally or is too costly to train and upskill.

According to Francis, those MSPs who haven’t yet made the transition to an MSSP or become a security expert may find themselves struggling to gain new business or maintain existing relationships.

It sounds like 2020 will be a year we will continue to see growth in a focus on cybersecurity for the more successful MSPs.  There are also opportunities on the horizon with a shift toward more reliance on outsourced cybersecurity technology and expertise and an increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions both with MSPs and the technology partners they work with.  Surely, we will be paying close attention to the trends and shifts in the coming year and are always here to help MSPs like you stay ahead.

Check out the full hangout, “Top 2020 Predictions for MSPs by MSPs,” for more on this interactive panel discussion.