MicroAge, The Digital Transformation Experts®, announces its findings from a new online survey of 235 U.S. IT decision-makers.
In the survey, MicroAge sought feedback from IT leaders to explore the performance of modern (and not-so-modern) managed service providers (MSPs) and how they are supporting IT leaders with growing challenges. The survey found that even satisfactory MSPs are falling short in supporting IT leaders in key areas: cloud strategy, security, and IT spending. As remote and hybrid workforces continue to evolve at a breakneck pace, IT leaders partnering with MSPs who are not modernizing risk falling behind.
In newly remote connected workforces, IT leaders urgently need robust cloud strategies and services. Gartner estimates global public cloud spend to increase by 18% this year, with 70% of organizations increasing cloud spending to support a connected workforce. A combined 46% of survey respondents cite either cloud strategy or cloud services as an area where their IT struggles with a lack of support. A large contingent of respondents frequently cited cloud support as something their organization could benefit from with their MSP, yet only 47% are actually using their MSP for cloud services. Half do not even know if their MSP offers them. This alarming pattern points to another revealing trend in this survey: a lack of clarity around the role of a modern MSP and how it supports IT leaders and their business outcomes on the cloud.
"A modern MSP should be helping organizations swiftly embrace the new reality of remote connected workforces," said Kyle Yencer, MicroAge vice president of services and connected workforce. "IT leaders need to see if their existing MSPs are keeping current. Are they still heavily reliant on file servers, or are they migrating to cloud services and Microsoft Teams? Are they helping to cut down on excess applications and alerts? These are some of the things we look for when identifying MSPs embracing modern solutions versus those stuck in their ways and ultimately holding their clients back. Modern MSPs should be working for IT leaders, not against them."
An overwhelming majority of respondents cited their MSP as affecting their organization's growth. At the same time, however, almost half are unimpressed with how modern their current MSP is, categorizing its overall performance as "in the Dark Ages" or "middle of the road." IT leaders are struggling with MSPs who lack the cloud services that are increasingly vital for growth in today's connected workforces. IT leaders are looking for modern MSPs that actively embrace new technologies, like cloud, collaboration, monitoring, and security solutions, highlighted in the survey as having the least recognition as part of MSP's offerings.
Despite the fact that ransomware attacks have risen by 93% over the first half of 2021, only 31% of the survey respondents are using MSPs for security. Less than half surveyed even know that MSPs offer security services. These results show that the respondents may have an overabundance of monitoring and security tools. A key marker for vetting a modern MSP is that it eliminates excess tools needed for network management, cuts down on alerts, expenses, and time required for in-house IT teams. In the current threat landscape of frequent data breaches and ransomware attacks, IT leaders must identify modern MSPs who are also making security a key priority. IT leaders who do not leverage those technology solutions and services risk swiftly falling behind their competitors while leaving their businesses wide open to security breaches and devastating financial loss. IT leaders who partner with MSPs should prioritize security as an integral part of their business and seek out MSPs that provide what they need.
The survey also found that while almost half see room for improvement, most IT professionals have used the same MSP for three to five years. The number one reason IT leaders may select a different MSP is cost concerns, but a combined 63% of respondents expressed additional reasons. IT downtime was cited by 22% as a reason to reevaluate their primary MSP; 18% cited obsolete technology; and 18% cited poor technical support. IT leaders are expressing concern about their MSP not keeping up with rapid technological advancements—particularly with cloud services. They are facing an increased need for flexible, remotely connected networks and workplaces, requiring adaptive IT support. To thrive in the volatility, IT leaders must vet their MSPs to ensure they cover these priorities to better support business objectives and the growing global connected workforce.
Conducted in July of 2021, the survey respondents include IT professionals in firms with 250-2,499 employees. There were 235 respondents. The responses were not weighted. Read the full industry report for this survey here.
MicroAge combines a powerful mix of technology services and solutions, backed by vendor-certified engineers and an acclaimed panel of experts to deliver the competitive edge technology leaders need to lead in a disruptive, digital environment. MicroAge is recognized annually on the Tech Elite 250, Solution Provider 500, and MSP 500—Elite150 lists of top-performing technology integrators, strategic service providers, and IT consultants.
Headquartered in Tempe, Arizona, MicroAge has a rapidly expanding national salesforce and services presence to support growing demand. To learn more, visit www.microage.com.