What MSPs Can Expect in 2023 – Four Things to Prepare For
Cyberattacks are still public enemy number one, economic uncertainty presents both opportunities and challenges, and automated BCDR solutions are an MSP’s saving grace.
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Last year’s, What MSPs Can Expect in 2022 focused on beefing up security with incident response policies and solutions that go beyond just backup. We also discussed internal risk assessment and the revenue potential of security services. With 2022 in the rearview, we’re looking at what’s still important, what’s on the horizon, and what MSPs can do to make the most of it. But, of course, some things never change… Prevailing cyberattacks continue to demand high-quality solutions to keep businesses running. So while we don’t anticipate a drop in threat vectors anytime soon, this year does present new economic factors that should influence your approach to 2023.
In this article…
- Look inside Axcient’s crystal ball to see what we’re predicting for 2023 and get our advice for making the most of what’s coming.
- Prepare to surf the waves of the future with ease using four MSP-specific resources designed to keep you afloat going forward.
- Reassess your strategic business plans with a security-first approach to balance business continuity and profitability.
1. The Economy Probably Won’t Get Better, But MSPs Can Still Win.
Amid record-high inflation, supply chain problems, and international crises, many businesses have braced for a recession for months. According to one research report, these economic factors will likely push the U.S. economy into a recession around the beginning of 2023. Fortunately, that same report predicts that the recession will be “short and mild, amid a strong labor market and relatively healthy consumer and business balance sheets.” While a recession is never what you want in business, for MSPs, economic uncertainty can actually become an opportunity.
Tight budgets drive businesses to outsource IT and security services to reduce overhead costs and full-time employee expenses. Here’s where you shine. MSPs provide the exact data protection services that SMB clients cannot forgo. Depending on how you package your services, it’s often better for a client’s bottom line to trust an MSP for business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) rather than amassing an internal team. We saw this evidence during and since the pandemic when many businesses struggled or went out of business. Surprisingly, 95% of MSPs said their revenue remained stable or grew in 2021. And in 2022, the percentage of MSPs expecting revenue growth to come primarily from net-new business jumped to 62% – up from 50% in 2021.
Despite a captive audience for security services, MSPs struggle to keep up with demand. Two in five MSPs are concerned that limited time and resources impede their ability to find new business, and 77% say their current workload is at or overcapacity.
“The path forward for financing stability, growth, and profitability in managed services is through optimizing. The difficult economy is causing 42% of MSPs to consider replacing and consolidating their existing BCDR with better, more efficient systems, and 40% are looking for BCDR systems with a lower total cost of ownership to reduce pressure on their labor expenses.”
-RESEARCH REPORT: OPTIMIZING BCDR CAN HELP MSPS FIGHT OFF RECESSION AND GROW
Axcient teamed up with Channelnomics for an inside look at the channel to learn more about where MSPs are currently and what they can do to achieve more in the future. In the Research Report: Optimizing BCDR Can Help MSPs Fight Off Recession and Grow, MSPs get actionable insights from peers to overcome common economic and operational challenges. Position your MSP for financial stability by understanding the impact of inefficient systems and labor challenges. At the same time, optimize deliberately and strategically for growth and profitability.
2. Consolidation is Necessary to Lower Total Costs and Retain Talent.
For MSPs to take advantage of the opportunities presented by today’s economy, they need a streamlined stack designed for productivity. All-in-one BCDR solutions designed to solve multiple use cases with lower-skilled technicians reduce your operational costs while increasing margins and boosting profitability. On top of that, reducing the number of solutions, your technicians have to master increases technician happiness, which leads to technician retention. If you’re still juggling vendors, chasing expert talent, and taking on any client regardless of their solution demands, you’re not poised to advance in 2023.
Choosing the right BCDR solution is critical to achieving growth in 2023. Not all solutions are created equal, but the right combination of an MSP-only solution and vendor is game-changing. High-performing MSPs rely on automation and innovation built into their product roadmaps. Manual tasks associated with chain-based backups, daily backup integrity checks, and ransomware recovery slow you down and cost more. “According to IBM, companies that use AI and automation to detect and respond to data breaches save an average of $3 million compared to those that don’t.”
“Since we started standardizing, 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.”
– NEIL HAWKINS, AXCIENT PARTNER AND COO AT LANAIR GROUP, LLC
To help you partner with the right solution and vendor for year-over-year growth, Axcient developed the eBook, How to Choose the Best BCDR Solution for Your MSP. We review the six most critical BCDR components to evaluate when vetting potential solutions and provide insights from real MSPs to help you assess solutions with consideration to operational maturity downstream. There’s also a downloadable, done-for-you BCDR Solution Checklist to make analyzing and comparing solutions a breeze.
3. Sales and Marketing Are Key to Capitalizing on Demand.
In 2023 you have the demand from SMBs who need your IT and security guidance. You also have a clear path to lowering costs and meeting that demand with a consolidated stack. The question is, can you attract an audience? Marketing and sales are historically a sticking point for any SMB, including MSPs. Thankfully, you don’t need a big budget or a dedicated internal marketing and sales team to make a name for yourself in the channel. Instead, you need some tips and tricks for getting the biggest bang for your buck.
Axcient’s MSP Marketing and Sales Guide: 4 Ways to Grow Your Business on a Budget gives you actionable, affordable, and practical strategies for making the most of your marketing and sales efforts. You’re probably already using these four channels, but we’re helping you gain more traction without breaking the bank. The guide includes the following:
- Lunch and Learns, Webinars, and Other Events – Get 6 tips to increase ROI, understand the impact of event logistics on attendance, and maximize virtual events.
- LinkedIn and Social Media – See the top 3 reasons to prioritize your LinkedIn business page, start using backend social media stats to increase sales, and ask yourself these 5 questions when updating your business profiles.
- Referrals and Testimonials – Create an ongoing referral program in 3 simple steps, then turn those referrals into promotions for new business, and amplify those clients’ voices across your digital footprint.
- Upsells and Cross-Sells – Discover the win-win results of bundling services and solutions for built-in upsells, utilize quarterly business reviews (QBRs) for pressure-free cross-selling, and structure client meetings with 4 critical components for ethical upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
4. Update Your Incident Response Plan Regularly!
Last but not least –most importantly – the cybersecurity landscape is still your top concern. Data breaches are bound to happen, but nothing else matters if your MSP cannot recover client data quickly and reliably. Yes, you know that ransomware attacks are gaining speed and sophistication. And you know that human error is the number one cause of data loss – but all too often, MSPs grow numb to these threats and fail to maintain an updated, tested, and comprehensive incident response plan. Instead, you should update your step-by-step plan quarterly with practice drills, table reads, and disaster recovery testing.
This year, Ransomware has continued its upward trend with an almost 13% increase – a rise as big as the last five years combined (for a total of 25% this year).” according to the 2022 Data Breach Investigations report by Verizon.
To help you create, update, and test your incident response plan, Axcient has created the Cybersecurity Readiness Bundle. Complete with three resources for improving your ransomware recovery and data incident response rates, these practical resources will help you well past 2023. But don’t assume it won’t happen to you (because statistics say it will). So instead, take a security-first approach by preparing for the worst with the Cybersecurity Readiness Bundle.
- The 5 Critical Pieces of a Good Cybersecurity Playbook – Plan for the immediate and prolonged effects of a cyber incident with five must-haves, plus get two downloadable incident response checklists – one from the executive or business perspective and one from a technical standpoint to move rapidly and in sync during a disaster.
- An MSP Playbook for Best Practices in Disaster Recovery Planning and Testing – How do you know your BCDR solution will recover as advertised? Until you test it, there’s no way to be sure. Utilize this playbook to improve disaster recovery testing in the cloud, on-prem, and with remote and hybrid environments to minimize downtime and increase data management simplicity.
- Surviving a Total Ransomware Takedown: An MSP Quick Guide for Overcoming Today’s Cyberattacks – Get a playbook for surviving ransomware from MSPs who have survived some of the worst ransomware attacks in recent history and get their advice for communicating effectively, accessing resources, internal management, and assessing system readiness.
Stick with Axcient in 2023 for More MSP-Only Resources
As a 100% MSP-dedicated solutions provider, Axcient is committed to helping the channel cure data loss – whether you’re an Axcient partner or not. Visit our Resources section for free information, playbooks, case studies, blogs, and eBooks about business continuity and disaster recovery. Join us for an Upcoming Event to hear from your MSP peers, thought leaders, and product experts. And lastly, Schedule a Demo or Start Your 14-day Trial to see why over 3,000 MSPs have already chosen Axcient’s Chain-Free, all-in-one BCDR solutions to keep businesses running.
Cheers to 2023!