The managed services (MSP) industry is always changing. New technologies emerge old ones fall out of favour, and market needs shift over time. Even so, the MSP industry has proven to be stable.
Many businesses have succeeded by sticking to tried-and-true methods for as long as we have tracked this industry. But things won’t stay the same forever.
As we look to 2022, there are many emerging trends that will shape how MSPs operate and grow their businesses. These top trends will be the most influential factors affecting growth in the coming years:
The MSP Business Continuum Shifts to Managed Services Only
Businesses have long been drawn to managed services because of the hands-off nature of the service. MSPs take care of everything from procurement to disaster recovery, so customers don’t have to worry about any of it.
The only service you can provide is a managed service. That may have been fine in the past, but digital transformation is going to turn managed services into the only service businesses will buy.
Companies want to outsource as many parts of their business as possible. That is why we’ve seen digital transformation grow so rapidly over the past three years. Developers have helped businesses automate and streamline processes through software.
As those developers become more specialized, they move into the managed services space. They’re the ones building the automation software that businesses crave. As a result, managed services is becoming the next level of outsourced functions in the business world.
More Advanced MSP Servicing Options Will Emerge
As MSPs look to differentiate themselves, they’ll push the boundaries of what’s considered managed services. Traditionally, managed services meant recurring monthly maintenance and repairs.
But as the industry evolves, we’ll see MSPs offer more advanced services like data engineering. As managed services become the norm, data engineers will become specialists in the business world.
They’ll be the ones building the automation software that businesses crave. As a result, MSPs will offer data engineering services to clients as part of their managed services offering.
Educate Your Audience
MSPs have an incredible story to tell. They are the providers of critical infrastructures and services for businesses. They ensure continuity and uptime for those businesses.
However, MSPs have traditionally been somewhat quiet about that functionality. They think that talking about it may cause clients to expect more than they can deliver.
As a result, many MSPs simply don’t talk about what they do. That needs to change as we move into this decade. As managed services become the norm, businesses will start looking at MSPs as a critical part of their operation.
They’ll want to know what to expect from the service and how it functions. Share those details with potential customers, and you’ll build trust and credibility. Share those details with existing customers, and you’ll keep them.
Provide a Virtual Option to Your Clients
Many businesses prefer a virtual office over a traditional brick-and-mortar location. They like the flexibility of working from wherever and whenever they choose. As a result, demand for virtual offices is growing.
Many MSPs offer a physical location as an option for their clients. But some offer a virtual office as the only option. That’s important to note because those MSPs have clearly understood the needs of their clients.
As a result, they have been able to capture a significant portion of the marketplace. As managed services become the norm, more and more businesses will prefer the virtual option.
That could create a significant opportunity for MSPs who offer a virtual option. While you can’t completely replace the need for face-to-face meetings, virtual offices provide a lot of the same services.
Avoid Automation—Make It Personal
Automation is an important part of the managed services world. Companies want to outsource as many functions as possible, and automation is one of the best ways to do that.
But automation alone doesn’t create a meaningful relationship between your business and clients. Neither does offering only managed services.
As MSPs move towards automation, they need to make sure they don’t lose their human touch. Make sure clients understand what the automation does for them and that you’re there to help.
You also want to make sure clients understand that automation is like hiring an employee who never takes a vacation and never quits on them. And make sure clients understand that automation is not a substitute for expertise and judgment.
Use Social Media for Lead Generation
MSPs know the importance of generating leads. They know that leads that don’t turn into customers are wasted marketing dollars. And they know that leads are the lifeblood of any MSP business.
As digital transformation takes over the MSP landscape, social media will become an even more important source of leads. As managed services become the norm, businesses will be outsourcing more of their functions.
That means that MSPs will be more involved with their clients’ businesses than ever before. As a result, MSPs will need to start building relationships with their clients.
They will need to start engaging with them on a regular basis. And they will need to get their name out there so that clients know who they are when they need services.
Use Peer Reviews to Promote Credibility
As managed services become the norm, businesses will become more comfortable turning to outside providers. That is especially true for SMBs where budgets are tight and time is limited.
They will want to outsource functions where possible, and MSPs can fill that need. But businesses are cautious. They don’t want to give control of their operations to just anyone. Rather, they want to work with providers who are qualified and have a stellar reputation.
As managed services become the norm, businesses will begin to look at MSPs as potential partners. That means that they will want to know who you are and what you have to offer. That will be especially true if you are offering lower-cost services.
To get businesses to take a chance on you, you need to show them that they can trust you. One of the best ways to do that is with peer reviews.
As we look to 2022, there are many emerging trends that will shape how MSPs operate and grow their businesses. From managed services becoming the norm to social media becoming a top lead-generation tool, the MSP industry is sure to change in big ways.