Kaseya report finds top priorities for MSPs

Kaseya has released its 2023 MSP Benchmark Report, which surveyed more than 1,000 managed services providers (MSPs) from the Americas, EMEA, and the APAC region.

The report, which surveyed both technicians and executives, provides insights into how MSPs streamline processes to provide cost-effective IT support and infrastructure management to SMBs.

The key findings centred around automation, cybersecurity, and integration:

  • About 90% of respondents hailed automation as a crucial technology for their business because it improves efficiency, allows them to take on more clients, and generates more revenue by automating common processes like endpoint management, monitoring, patching, ticket resolution, and even cybersecurity.
  • More than half of the executive (64%) and technician (54%) respondents picked automation, including auto-remediation of tickets, as their top RMM feature.
  • In a year-over-year comparison, there is a 15% jump in respondents who chose cybersecurity as the top IT challenge their clients expect to face this year.
  • About 65% of respondents said most, or all, of their clients, have asked for cybersecurity advice.
  • 90% of respondents agree that integration between core applications is critical to their business. It helps them streamline their processes, reduce duplication of efforts, and automate repetitive tasks.

Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer and General Manager of Security Products, Kaseya said, “this report drives home the importance of automation and integration to make MSPs more productive, efficient, and profitable. Cybersecurity will continue to be a pressing issue, and MSPs must be up-to-speed on their security offerings to keep pace with SMB demand.”                                                      

Poor integration remains a core problem

The lack of integration between solutions continues to hinder daily operations and productivity. In the survey, 39 per cent of respondents reported that the biggest obstacle to business growth is the inability of technicians to maximise software usage. About 63 per cent of executives surveyed said that integration enabled them to take on more clients and expand their business, with 54 per cent saying fewer technicians were needed to manage the workload. Almost half, 49 per cent of the executives, also said integration helped them cut costs. Not surprisingly, about 60 per cent of both executives and technicians surveyed are dissatisfied or neutral when it comes to work-life balance. Managing everyday mundane tasks causes them to struggle with getting their workload under control and even end up experiencing acute burnout. This can be alleviated by automating some of those mundane tasks.

Cybersecurity drives growth

The top five services that respondents intend to offer in 2023 fall under the cybersecurity umbrella, covering identity and access management, security awareness training, and Dark Web monitoring. With cybercrime exploding, the percentage of respondents who back up their customers’ SaaS applications, such as Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, or Salesforce, increased to 83 per cent from 78 per cent in 2022. About one-third, 32 per cent of the respondents, evaluate their threat landscape monthly and 35 per cent evaluate quarterly, while only 11 per cent do so annually, and a mere 1 per cent never do so. Technician respondents said that enhanced security services recorded the most growth in the last 12 months; executives reported it as second place. (For executives, subscription-based managed services took the top spot, with business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) service featured among the top four service categories.)

MSPs anticipate these challenges

The primary challenges MSPs anticipate are acquiring more customers as the MSP space intensifies (35% of executives) and dealing with advanced and sophisticated security threats (21% of technicians). Supply chain issues are levelling off – the percentage of respondents who said supply chain impact significantly dropped from 35 per cent to 28 per cent in 2023.

Let’s talk about break-fix, co-managed IT, and M&A

More than half of the technician respondents, 51 per cent, reported break-fix as their most time-consuming activity. However, it is only the third most lucrative revenue stream according to executive respondents (39%). Subscription-based managed services are the top revenue generator according to 68 per cent of executive participants and the second most time-consuming activity according to 43 per cent of technicians. When it comes to what drives the biggest gain of the break-fix model, executives cited hardware problems, while technicians said for them, its access control.

About a third, 34 per cent of the respondents said they get between 1 and 25 per cent of their revenue from co-managed IT services. Another 29 per cent said they get between 26 and 50 per cent of their revenue from it.

About 51 per cent of the respondents are keen to participate in some form of M&A activity. Of this group, about 14 per cent said it is their primary growth strategy. Last year, only 36 per cent of the respondents were bullish on it.

This survey sought viewpoints from both MSP executives and MSP technicians. Of the respondents, executives comprised 37 per cent of the pool while technicians comprised the remaining 63 per cent. MSP owners, partners, vice presidents, and directors came under the executive group while the rest were grouped as technicians.

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