MSP Security Trends Correlate with Profit Growth

How to increase your security services without adding costs and management resources to your bottom line

A recent survey conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), an IT analyst, research, validation, and strategy firm, and Pax8, reveal security trends that can pave the way to profitability for MSPs. Finally, small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are heeding the advice from the channel and IT service providers to enhance security. As a solutions provider, this creates a business opportunity for MSPs to protect themselves and their clients while increasing margins and profitability. With that said, adding security solutions to your stack takes finesse.

In this article, we’re…

  • Highlighting the security trends identified in the survey, 2021 IT Managed Services Research: MSP Security Services Trends from ESG and Pax8.
  • Applying these findings to 2022 business strategies for MSP growth through security services.
  • Showing you how to add and/or increase your security services without adding costs and management resources to your bottom line.

87% of MSPs say security practice evolution is a top business priority.

For years the channel has been imploring clients to take cybersecurity seriously. Thankfully, it seems that businesses are coming around. The criticality of data security has become undeniable after remote work caused a significant spike in ransomware attacks and phishing schemes, on top of large-scale and sophisticated supply chain attacks. The widespread cyber attacks on data prompted government agencies to expand breach notification laws. According to the ESG survey, 60% of MSP clients have had a sensitive data breach in the last 12 months (from July 2020 to July 2021) and will increase spending by about 22% as a result.

While it’s unfortunate that so many businesses have already been attacked, it does alleviate some pressure on MSPs to educate clients. Regardless of how clients jump on the security bandwagon, they are looking to MSPs for guidance on what to do with that extra budget. Now, it’s your turn to educate yourself on the latest technology available to combat today’s cybersecurity landscape. To stay ahead of the competition, you need a robust security playbook and innovative technology to ensure business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR).

84% of SaaS productivity resellers attach BCDR services to those offers.

One of the best ways to protect data while growing margins and boosting profits is to include security solutions with business enablement. In fact, according to the ESG survey, 39% of MSPs’ revenue will be driven by security services two years out – up from 32% in 2021. Bundling security with IT services is becoming the norm, and clients are getting used to the costs rather than questioning their necessity. It shows clients that a multi-layer security approach is paramount to the survival of their business, rather than an optional feature.

It’s understandable why some MSPs are inclined to allow clients to opt-out of backup and disaster recovery (BDR), but it could cost you more in the long run. Turning down clients can be tough, especially if you are building your business, but not all clients are good clients. If a client chooses not to backup their data and suffers a breach, your MSP can be held responsible. New and changing state laws are shifting the blame for data loss from the business that lost the data, to the provider responsible for protecting that data. In addition to fines and penalties, the public disclosure of a breach can significantly damage your reputation and compromise your ability to compete in the channel.

The Trick to Adding Security Without Increasing Overhead

Hearing that you need to add a new service to your stack can be overwhelming. Depending on how many vendors you are already juggling, you could be straddling the line of too many. The more vendors you add, the more costs go up. Each vendor has its own process for onboarding, training, certification, marketing, billing, support, recovery, and the list goes on. Trying to manage these processes leads to the compounding negative consequences of vendor sprawl. Basically, you spend all of your time and resources dealing with vendors rather than adding value for clients. Profits and margins go down the drain as overhead costs go up.

The trick is finding a BCDR vendor that allows you to standardize. Instead of choosing one-trick ponies, you select a vendor that enables your business to grow through simplicity, choice, flexibility, and technology innovation. As the cliché goes, do more with less. When you are developing or revisiting your security strategy for 2022, reevaluate your current stack.

  • How many BDR vendors do you have?
  • What are the costs in terms of resources and expertise necessary to manage each vendor?
  • Where do you see unnecessary costs (i.e., storage overages, surprise fees, expensive equipment), and how do those affect your relationships with clients?
  • Where do you see unnecessary resource allocation (i.e., manual reseeding and backup verification, process management, on-site hardware maintenance), and how could those resources be used differently?
  • How is your partnership with each vendor enhancing your business?

Once you see what you and your clients are getting from each vendor versus what you’re giving up, you can evaluate other opportunities with a clear perspective on outcomes. For example, with a renewed focus on security, you want a BDR vendor that offers comprehensive solutions for every infrastructure client’s desire. Not only does it cut down on vendor management, but it enables business growth by meeting client demands. Vendors that enable standardization offer more sophisticated services and solutions. Just having these mature offerings for clients can improve your initial conversation with prospects, create more upsell and cross-sell opportunities, and differentiate your MSP from competitors.

100% of our clients are on Axcient. We don’t have another backup solution, and it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. My labor costs are down significantly; my team has been able to gain a depth of knowledge because it’s just one vendor, and the products continue to get better.” – Phillip Long, CEO at Business Information Solutions

One Platform for MSPs to Protect Everything™

Today’s cybersecurity landscape requires comprehensive business continuity and disaster recovery. Unfortunately, backups are dead. The bad guys continue to have the upper hand, and MSPs must confront that reality and plan for an attack. As we always say, it’s not a question of if you will be attacked, but when. And when it happens, MSPs need the security technology necessary to not only recover the data almost instantaneously but accommodate insurance carriers for claim payouts, and above all else, keep businesses running.

Luckily, Axcient is the 100% MSP-only solutions provider enabling profitability through simplicity on a single platform for all your BCDR needs. With x360Recover Direct-to-Cloud, MSPs can meet multiple BCDR use cases with just one platform – endpoint backup, no-appliance BDR, turn-key BDR, and public or private cloud backup. Using our proprietary Chain-Free backup technology, along with automated backup integrity checks, anti-ransomware innovation, and near-instant virtualization, MSPs can focus on growing their MSP while Axcient protects data.

Since we started standardizing on Axcient, we started seeing profitability. We’ve been able to grow exponentially, and now we’re at a level we never thought possible. The more we simplify, the more profitable we get. The more leverage we get with Axcient as a partner. We’re able to develop our relationship with Axcient and rely on you guys to help us grow.” – Neil Hawkins, Partner, and COO at LANAIR Group, LLC

Axcient’s ‘Simplify and Gain Profitability’ Demo Series

Join us during our six-part series to see how Axcient lowers TCO, increases margins, and grows profits. Take an inside look at our solutions in action, including deployment in less than 10 minutes, live ransomware recovery, and full virtualization and VM export for immediate failback. Register once for the entire six-part series and receive reminders ahead of time and recordings after.

Register to Attend >>

Part 1: Deploying Chain-Free

  • Understand the differences between legacy chain-based and modern Chain-Free technology.
  • Deploy hardware-free Direct-to-Cloud BCDR in < 10 minutes.

Part 2: Securing Data with Local Cache

  • Eliminate or deprioritize on-prem storage by backing up directly to the cloud instead.
  • Get the ease and affordability of cloud-based BDR< with the speed of local backup without an expensive on-site appliance.

Part 3: Limiting Downtime with Automation

  • Utilize automatic backup integrity checks and DR testing to meet stringent SLAs.
  • Reduce stress and build confidence with daily proof of backup recoverability.

Part 4: Ransomware Recovery with Virtual Office

  • Watch us recover from ransomware in real-time using self-managed DR.
  • Virtualize anything from a single file to an entire system almost instantly.

Part 5: Profiting from Cloud Adoption

  • Provide full virtualization and VM export for immediate failback.
  • Free yourself from the risks of relying solely on Microsoft backup while ensuring data protection and recovery in the Azure public cloud.

Part 6: Business Benefits with Comprehensive BCDR

  • Discover how MSPs save up to 50% each month with hardware-free BCDR.
  • Lower TCO by standardizing one vendor to meet multiple business use cases.

Register to Attend >>

Axcient benefits our clients with a more mature solution. It’s able to leverage the cloud without passing along costs. It’s going to up our maturity and strategy for delivering services to clients.”     – Stephen Tracy, Director of Managed Services at Entech

With security taking center stage, MSPs need a BCDR solution that adds value rather than contributing to vendor sprawl. With the Axcient x360 Platform, MSPs can meet all business use cases with just one vendor for unified support, training, onboarding, and billing processes that lower total cost of ownership (TCO), while expanding security services. See how much you can save when you protect everything with Axcient. Start Your Free 14-day Trial Today!

Carissa Kohn Johnson Axcient

About the Author: Carissa Johnson // Product Marketing Manager, Axcient

Carissa Kohn-Johnson has a background in behavioral and physical healthcare technology and information technology and currently works as the Product Marketing Manager for Axcient. She has a lot of MSP Channel experience from planning and attending hundreds of conferences and tradeshows, and found her passion in technology, and working with MSPs in particular. She serves on the Information Services Advisory Board for her community and feels most at home with other technology-forward people. Connect with her on LinkedIn – perhaps you can contribute to the Axcient blog?

More Great Stuff From Our Blog:

Check out some other interesting pieces from our blog: MSP-friendly resources and tools to help MSPs educate clients to combat phishing attacks and Fight the Phish!, we dove into how chain-based backup works and why chain-free is the way to be, we talked with Jason Phelps from Huntress Labs about planning for the next ransomware attack, our CEO David Bennett explains why the current cybersecurity landscape means traditional backup is dead, or learn how you can ditch pricey on-site appliances with Local Cache for Direct-to-Cloud BCDR.