IT has been an integral part of business operations for decades now, but 2020 increased the demand.
Before the pandemic, most employees require a desktop or laptop, desk phone, and any industry-specific solutions. Once the pandemic hit, employees required a way to work remotely and virtually connect with customers and colleagues.
The KR Group worked with our managed IT services customers during the first part of the year as they transitioned to telecommuting.
While most of us are excited to leave 2020 behind, the past year will undoubtedly shape the next one, including how we use IT.
Some of the questions we’re examining as this year comes to an end:
- How will MSPs continue to support the remote workforce?
- How are MSPs responding to shifts in IT?
- What are MSPs predicting for 2021?
- What makes switching or sticking with managed services a good option?
Whether you’re looking for your first MSP, planning to switch providers, or continuing a contract with us, it’s important you know how we plan to support our customers in the next year.
Continued support of the remote workforce
In a recent study from economists at Harvard Business School, after the pandemic, one in six employees will work from home full-time or at least two days a week.
If the remote workforce isn’t going away, that means the way MSPs support teleworkers has to adapt.
MSPs have always supported a variety of customers across multiple locations. Supporting a business with employees working from various locations is just another layer to the structure MSPs already implement.
The increase in the remote workforce also changes how MSPs provide on-site support since customers may have fewer or no employees working and needing support in the office.
Traditionally, one of the perceived problems with managed IT services is MSPs can’t provide continuous, hands-on service. However, even internal IT engineers are limited to how hands-on they can be when resolving issues with remote users.
If this reason influenced your decision to move to or continue with managed IT services in the past, re-evaluate. With hands-on support less of a concern, managed services might make more sense for your business now.
Responding to shifts in IT
The mass increase of remote workers isn’t the only change MSPs weigh when thinking about service in 2021.
The need for remote access and movement away from in-office employees created the perfect storm for many businesses to consider moving to the cloud.
We believe 2020 was just the beginning of a large influx of cloud migrations. As businesses move to the cloud for various services, MSPs will need to support the migration and ongoing service.
Looking ahead, organizations realized the need to deploy solutions that were accessible to users who continued to work remotely. Additionally, if companies were considering downsizing or eliminating office space, a smaller physical IT footprint was an appealing factor.
MSPs come into the equation by providing support for these cloud services as well as advising whether a customer is a good fit or not.
If you have moved or will move to the cloud, the host will handle hardware issues. However, that doesn’t negate the need for support from your MSP.
Regardless of where your solutions are hosted, MSPs can address software and application issues related to your devices, as well as network issues, computer hardware issues, and computer connection issues.
In other words, the need for end-user support does not go away when your business migrates to the cloud.
Predictions for 2021
The most significant thing to watch for when it comes to managed services is how providers adapt to include advanced cybersecurity protection.
MSPs will need to incorporate cybersecurity measures, such as security software-as-a-service or bundled applications, to prevent their customers from being victims of malicious threats.
2020 was an unprecedented year in cyberattacks.
- Ransomware attacks have increased by 105%.
- Email phishing attacks increased by 667% and are the most common data breach for users working at home.
- The number of unsecured remote desktop (RDP) machines rose by more than 40%.
- Brute-force attacks on RDP machines grew 400% in March and April alone.
These statistics should give every business owner a wake-up call if they weren’t already prioritizing cybersecurity.
At The KR Group, we’ve seen first-hand that attacks have increased in frequency and become more difficult for software and humans to detect.
This is why MSPs, including The KR Group, are expanding our managed services offerings to include security services and solutions.
In 2021, we anticipate seeing more MSPs offer cybersecurity and continue to secure home office setups, including implementing firewalls and segmenting home networks.
Why should you use managed IT services in 2021?
Whether you’re an existing or prospective managed IT services customer, working with an MSP offers an efficient way to adapt to changes in how and where you work.
An MSP can help you navigate additional shifts in technology, such as cybersecurity, and cloud migrations. We’ll also keep you in the loop on emerging technology and if your business could benefit from it.
While we all hope 2021 will be more predictable than 2020, know that an MSP will help your IT environment adapt to any changes.
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If you’re considering becoming a new managed services customer, check out our free guide on the onboarding process.