While remote work has provided a wealth of opportunities, it is another MSP pain point, according to Kaseya’s 11th annual MSP Benchmark report.

Global epidemics and economic impact
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A whopping 92% of managed services providers have had supply chain issues impact their ability to sell offerings, according to Kaseya’s newly released MSP Benchmark.

Hiring is the second major challenge MSPs expect to face in 2022, with 19% of respondents citing hiring as their primary challenge this year—a 15% jump from 2021’s data.

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This year’s 11th annual survey researched the priorities, challenges and predictions of 1,200 MSPs across the globe, in a market predicted to reach $557.1 billion by 2028.

Other top pain points MSPs have had are with customer compliance. The ever-evolving compliance landscape has been a significant challenge for SMBs, with 74% of MSPs stating their customers struggle to meet regulatory compliance requirements, according to the survey. MSPs said they have been helping their customers navigate this complex landscape, with 75% of respondents either offering or interested in offering compliance services.

Fifty-nine percent of MSPs had clients that were required to comply with HIPAA guidelines, followed by PCI DSS (41%) and GDPR (27%), the survey said.

Not surprisingly, remote work has provided a wealth of opportunities for MSPs. The pandemic has permanently reshaped the work environment, with 22% of respondents stating that remote workforce setup was the top service requested by their clients—followed by cloud migration (21%) and business continuity (13%).

Remote work is also seen as a significant pain point for MSPs’ customers, with 36% of respondents selecting it as one of the top three IT problems for clients in 2022.

Other MSP activity and concerns

Among other key findings:

  • 76% of MSPs said the pandemic has affected their ability to expand services within their customer base. There’s an increased need for the security, business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) and remote work support services that are driving revenue growth for MSPs.
  • 64% of MSPs said that integration among core applications, including RMM, PSA and IT documentation software, is either critical or very important to them. 78% of MSPs stated that this integration helps drive bottom-line profits.
  • 36% of respondents plan to sell or acquire within the next 24 to 36 months. Many MSPs are actively surveying the landscape and assessing their readiness to buy or sell.
  • Cybersecurity remains top of mind. MSPs are feeling increasingly concerned about the cybersecurity landscape—50% said their business is more at risk of cybercrime compared with one year ago, which is an 11% increase from 2021’s data. The increased focus is justified—almost half of MSPs reported that a significant portion of their clients fell victim to a cyberattack within the last 12 months. Though cybersecurity is a significant concern for MSPs, it’s also been a revenue driver: The survey found that 50% of MSPs evaluate the threat landscape quarterly to add new service offerings for their organizations.

Security and incident response plans are top of mind

The survey revealed that MSPs value integrated solutions. 64% of MSPs said that integration among core applications, including RMM, PSA and IT documentation software, is either critical or very important to them, with 78% stating that this integration helps drive bottom-line profits.

Active incident response plans are still a major need for MSPs’ clients. Though the threat of cyberattacks continues to grow, only 4% of respondents said that 100% of their client base has an active incident response plan. About half of the respondents reported that only 25% of their clients had an active incident response plan, with 8% of MSPs stating that none of their clients had an incident response plan in place.

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Most MSPs are testing their disaster recovery capabilities—but frequency varies. Due to the increasing complexity of IT environments and the cyber threat landscape, IT professionals are instructed to test their disaster recovery capabilities regularly. Kaseya’s 2022 survey found 30% of MSPs simulate disaster recovery capabilities quarterly, 25% test annually and 9% test monthly—with 15% admitting that they never test.

In addition to the focus on key services for their SMB clients, many MSPs are actively surveying the landscape and assessing their readiness to buy or sell. Kaseya’s 2022 research found that nearly 36% of respondents plan to sell or acquire within the next 24 to 36 months.

“With COVID-19 continuing to affect everything from global logistics to the work environment, it’s no surprise that 76% of MSPs said the pandemic affected their ability to expand services within their customer base,” said Mike Puglia, chief strategy officer at Kaseya, in a statement. “There’s an increased need for the security, business continuity and disaster recovery and remote work support services that are driving revenue growth for MSPs, and we expect the demand for these services to continue in 2022 and beyond.”

Efficiency also continues to be a top priority for MSPs, with more than half of respondents saying integration among core applications is either critical or very important to them, Puglia added.