SolarWinds, a provider of IT management software, has released the findings of its 2019 Trends in Managed Services report, showing the health of managed services and the forces shaping the market across North America and Europe.
SolarWinds MSP partnered with The 2112 Group to create the annual report from findings based on data from its benchmarking tool, MSP Pulse. The reports show comparisons on revenue, profit, service selection, sales capacity, customer engagement, and growth potential.
John Pagliuca, President of SolarWinds MSP said, “our research has revealed that 97 per cent of respondents offer some form of managed services—which is a clear demonstration of the managed services transformation remaking the technology channel. It’s safe to say the state of managed services is strong. This latest research also underscored the major growth opportunities we’re already looking to help our MSPs leverage including automation, security, and operations. With our customer success-focused initiatives like MSP Pulse, the MSP Institute, and Empower MSP, we’re supporting partners with much more than technology. We’re working to fuel the success of our MSPs in 2020 and beyond. The future looks bright for those who want to expand their comfort zone, and we’re here to help them do just that.”
The results show that MSPs are comfortable with the security basics such as antivirus, backup, and firewalls:
- In Europe, respondents were most comfortable offering and using antivirus (93%), data backup and recovery (82%), firewalls (82%), and antispam (80%) as solutions.
However, MSPs have room for growth in some of the more advanced security solutions and offerings, as respondents were less confident in the more complex controls:
- European respondents selected the top three solutions they were least comfortable with: biometrics, cloud access security brokers (CASBs), and digital rights management.
- On the services end, European respondents were least comfortable with penetration testing (52%), auditing and compliance management (39%), and risk assessments (36%).
- The results also showed MSPs are starting to increase the use of automation to handle day-to-day tasks such as patch management and backup but don’t feel comfortable with automating the advanced tasks.
Automation saves European MSPs an average of 23 full-time employee hours per week. In Europe, respondents were least comfortable automating SQL query workflows (57%) but showed discomfort with automating identity and access management.
In the 2018 report, MSPs were losing customers almost as fast as they gained them, but 2019 showed an improvement in customer retention. Two of the top three reasons for losing customers stemmed from the customer rather than the service provider:
- In Europe, respondents pick up an average of three clients every two months while losing more than one on average in the same period.
- Top causes of customer loss included the company either went out of business (16% in Europe) or were fired by the partner (16% in Europe).
Another key finding showed core business operations are still amongst the biggest growth obstacles for MSPs including lack of resources/time, sales, and marketing:
- European MSPs claimed their biggest obstacles toward growth were lack of resources/time (41%), sales (32%), and security threats (32%).