Managed Services Providers fuel industry growth

Managed Services Providers are a growing market force and the primary driver of IT industry growth, according to speakers at this year's Managed Services & Hosting Summit in London (September 20th).

Hosted by Comms Dealer sister company IT Europa, the conference provided a platform for Gartner Research Director Mark Paine to put a spotlight on the evolving attitudes of IT buyers who now prioritise outcomes versus single point solutions, with IT as a productivity asset also top of the end user agenda.

In facing the challenges of meeting these more demanding requirements MSPs need not struggle as lone rangers, advised Paine, who believes that the opportunity for MSPs to collaborate with suitable counterparts is not one to be missed, providing they choose their partners with great care.

"MSPs must start with a vision," stated Paine. "Look at use cases and consider processes, along with challenges and outcomes for customers."

The rise of MSPs is reflected in the high levels of recurring revenue growth experienced by organisations that are taking a lead with cloud services, such as Cobweb Solutions which sells cloud solutions from Microsoft, Mimecast and Acronis among others.

The firm's MD, Michael Frisby, said: "We started out as a cloud managed service provider by focusing on traditional solutions like Exchange. Now, 95% of our revenues are recurring. But you have to make sure you get the marketing right to succeed, along with making investments in training and education."

Another hot topic at this year's event was compliance, most notably around the upcoming GDPR regulations. Legal firm Fieldfisher's partner Renzo Marchini warned that the impact on MSPs would be 'profound'. "Service providers are to be regarded as data controllers under GDPR," he said. "With that comes the potential for huge fines in the event of regulation breaches."

IT Europa MD Alan Norman (pictured) stated: "All the latest research points to the continued growth of managed services as a supply mechanism in line with customer demand. 
"There is also evidence to show that the provision of managed services is beginning to build more value in the channel, helping MSPs, VARs and SIs to build higher value and longer-term relationships - along new revenue opportunities for distribution. 

"The growing adoption of cloud-based delivery mechanisms and the increasing convergence of communications and data technologies is likely to further accelerate this trend." 

For more news on this year's Managed Services & Hosting Summit please visitwww.iteuropa.com