It’s no secret that managed service providers (MSPs) continue to operate in a competitive marketplace, but according to CompTIA, the key to survival involves staying ahead of the curve and preparing for future opportunities.
The company has revealed five key trends that it says are crucial considerations for MSPs looking to exceed in the marketplace, including trends around partnering, mergers and acquisitions, big data and cloud.
Moheb Moses, CompTIA A/NZ community director and Channel Dynamics director says, “It’s important for MSPs to understand market trends and what’s likely to happen in the near future so they can position their businesses accordingly.”
Here are the five trends CompTIA says MSPs should consider in 2018;
According to CompTIA, partners are working more closely with each other as different businesses focus on their own core competencies.
The challenge there is how to protect each business’s intellectual property and to form a mutually-beneficial agreement.
Moses says ongoing and effective communication with partners is important in understanding priorities.
“Typically the owners of a business know each other and the partnership is trust-based,” he says.
“But as this type of relationship gains momentum, the owners may be located in different States or even countries, and that owner-to-owner relationship may not exist. It then becomes crucial to put an understanding in place regarding essential things like who owns the client, whether staff can be poached, messaging, and how to approach future business opportunities. It’s important to protect both parties.”
CompTIA says there has been an increase in M&A activity in the industry over the last year and they expect this to continue in 2018.
A number of reasons are behind this, such as companies looking to expand into new areas where they may not have the expertise, or companies looking to leverage another company’s existing client base, technology, or operating model.
CompTIA says acquisitions from accounting or consulting firms might increase, as the definition of a ‘technology’ company becomes broader.
CompTIA asserts that Born-in-the-cloud organisations will start to create more competition in the channel, as they can leverage innovative new business models with lower overheads that legacy companies didn’t have access to when they were established.
Companies can also now start up with very low upfront costs and grow quickly using cloud-based enterprise tools that are available at a fraction of the cost of legacy, on-premise systems.
Digital disruption and business disruption were much-hyped buzzwords last year, however, CompTIA says the most disruptive companies didn’t set out to actively disrupt anything, they set out to solve a customer problem.
If a company’s goal is solely disruption for the sake of disruption, they are misguided. Instead, businesses should look to innovate and solve customer problems.
While each year pundits predict that big data will reach critical mass, CompTIA says 2018 is unlikely to be the year that big data gains mass momentum.
However, if momentum continues to swing towards data, then 2019 might be the year the pundits’ predictions finally come true.
The company says that if MSPs that want to leverage big data, now is the time to invest in the skills and intelligence required to help customers turn their data into actionable intelligence.