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Survey respondents reinforce RMM as the most critical operations application and point to security as the top IT challenge of 2018, highlighting GDPR uncertainty

Kaseya®, the leading provider of complete IT management solutions for managed service providers (MSPs) and mid-market enterprises (MME), today released the results of its 2018 MSP Benchmark Survey. The seventh annual survey reveals that the majority of MSP respondents have moved away from commodity, break-fix services to deliver more strategic, value-added offerings powered by the critical role of remote monitoring and management (RMM) solutions – not professional services automation (PSA) tools.

A key issue factoring into the value-add approach for 2018 is a heightened focus on security. According to the survey, security is up year-over-year in revenue for 65 percent of respondents worldwide and was the service least likely to be stagnant or decrease. Meanwhile, meeting security risks was cited as the top challenge by 33 percent of respondents with no other problem or service need exceeding 10 percent on either a worldwide or regional basis.

Despite the importance of security, the impact of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on MSPs is still underestimated. With the May 2018 GDPR deadline quickly approaching and a general worldwide upturn in privacy regulations, MSPs no longer have the luxury of treating compliance as an afterthought. When asked about compliance requirements or regulations that impact them or the customers they serve, many MSPs indicated they do not believe they will be impacted by the E.U. regulation. While the worldwide (22 percent) and Americas (10 percent) response was not surprising, the EMEA response of only 77 percent was. With only 52 percent of MSPs worldwide (and 55 percent in EMEA) offering compliance assessments, a significant growth opportunity is readily available for MSPs that can act quickly.

The annual Kaseya MSP Benchmark Survey is known as the most powerful tool in the industry for analysing the MSP market, pinpointing the technologies and processes that separate the most successful MSPs from the rest of the pack. In years past, the survey focused on pricing and service delivery trends in the marketplace. Building on that foundation, this year’s survey collected additional information to shed light on not only pricing strategy but also new service offerings and operational resources and requirements. Data was gathered from nearly 900 MSP respondents in over 40 countries.

“It is critical to Kaseya to constantly gauge the temperature of MSPs worldwide so we can stay in front of the trends, technology innovations and market fluctuations that impact this global industry,” said Miguel Lopez, SVP of managed services providers at Kaseya. “With the added insights from this year’s survey, we’re able to take an even deeper look at the issues that are most impactful to our customers and provide them with invaluable guidance to capitalise on growth opportunities. Ultimately to succeed in this highly competitive landscape, MSPs must continually expand and evolve their offerings to stay ahead of market trends and demands, find ways to work more efficiently through better resource allocation and technology usage, and better communicate the value of their services to clients.”

Key findings from Kaseya’s 2018 MSP Benchmark survey include:

RMM Reigns Supreme with IT Documentation Playing a Key Role

RMM remains the most critical application to MSP operations. Nearly half of respondents worldwide named RMM as the most important application, followed by IT documentation (20 percent) and PSA (16 percent). RMM is essential to managing endpoints, an MSP’s bread and butter, so its prominence is little surprise. While RMM is most commonly associated with endpoint management, a holistic and comprehensive RMM solution enhances security, reduces downtime, increases productivity, and lowers total cost of ownership. In a nutshell, an RMM solution can make or break your business. However, the importance of IT documentation is noteworthy as it demonstrates MSPs’ awareness that the PSA solution is not driving business revenue. It also implies some frustrations with limitations of first-generation PSAs, which are still in wide use among MSPs.

Price-Match Strategies Continue Their Decline

As MSPs have moved away from break-fix services to managed services, price match strategies are becoming far less common. This makes sense given break-fix lends itself to a commodity approach whereas managed services are all about value. This trend has carried over to pricing as well, and it should be no surprise that price match strategies declined for the second consecutive year in favour of cost- and value-based pricing. While cost-based pricing has remained relatively stable since 2015 – fluctuating between 24 to 31 percent, value-based pricing is by far the most popular choice used by nearly two-thirds of respondents. As a result, price matching is now in play in only six percent of MSPs, down from 21 percent two years earlier.

Cloud Continues its Growth

While cloud adoption can now be considered mature (with 86 percent of respondents worldwide citing some level of adoption) some areas have a stronger increase than others, opening the door to MSPs to add new revenue streams. Public cloud management, for example, has far stronger adoption than cloud monitoring or hybrid cloud. Even cloud backup has room for growth, with only two-thirds of respondents offering onsite-to-cloud backup, and just over one-fifth of respondents providing cloud-to-cloud backup. The takeaway: Cloud services continue to offer ample room for growth. MSPs unable to increase their cloud-based revenue would be wise to expand beyond their current offerings.

For more details and a comprehensive analysis of the findings, download the 2018 Kaseya MSP Benchmark Survey Report here:

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