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Preparing MSPs for 2020

This was my fourth time attending MSPWorld which the MSPAlliance held at the Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando. The two day event was very well-attended with over 24 diverse educational sessions and several Keynote presentations. There was ample time for networking at the golf outing, cocktail hour, casino night and during breaks between sessions.

Being experts in their respective fields, industry leaders focused on topics pertinent to MSPs—cyber security threats, sales and marketing tips, the importance of certifications, and current legal issues. Charles Weaver, CEO of the MSPAlliance, always gives his annual state of the managed services market overview on day two of the event, citing information from the Gartner Group. The title of this year’s presentation was, “The State of the Cloud Managed Services Market – How to build the MSP of 2020.” In comparing last year’s actual global IT performance with Gartner’s forecast for the current year, Charles highlighted areas of potential growth for MSPs and cautioned them about spaces that could be problematic in the future.

Here is what I took away from this year’s annual State of the Cloud Managed Services Market.

Global IT spending according to Gartner Group
• 2015 was a flat to slightly negative year for MSPs
• 2016 will be a growth year for MSPs

Highlights
• Global spending was down approximately 5% in 2015 and will grow less than 1% in 2016
• Spending on hardware like PCs, laptops, and smartphones dropped over 5% in 2015 and will decline another 2% in 2016
• Data Center spending grew almost 2% in 2015 and will grow another 3% in 2016
• After declining one percent in 2015, software sales will grow over 5% in 2016
• Spending on communications dropped over 8% in 2015 and will drop another 1% in 2016
• After declining almost 5% in 2015, IT services (which include MSP revenues) will grow 3% in 2016

Data from Spring MSPWorld
With the continuing trends of decreasing premise based hardware sales and above average growth in data center, software, and services, what will the future for MSPs look like in 2020?

Regulations will be here to stay by 2020.
• European Union Data Protection Reform (General Data Protection Regulations-GDPR)
• Right to be forgotten could bring about big changes
• Regulation and laws from Europe could be applied in US
• Fines for noncompliance (regulations have teeth)

Where will MSP’s find their customers 2020?
• Customers will be more educated and will find you
• Don’t chase your customers
• Customers need resources, education, and mentors
• Make your customers come to you

Where are the new opportunities in 2020?
• Internet of things will create a huge opportunity
• Shutdown, turn around, and outages of utility companies
• Social media monitoring

In 2020, MSPs will:
• Face more regulation
• Be more important in the fight against cyber crime
• Have greater influence over customers
• Serve both business and residential customers

All of the presentations are available for viewing to MSPAlliance members (login from the home page click Resources > Blog). Membership is a free, quick and easy process.

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