Guest Column | February 20, 2023

Evolution Of MSP Landscape: How The MSP Landscape Will Evolve Over The Next 12-18 Months

By Joe Alapat, Liongard


The technology landscape has evolved rapidly in recent years, so much so that MSPs can no longer cover their responsibilities using yesterday’s tools and approaches.

They must work smarter, not harder. Some days, that’s easier said than done, as IT is now a living ecosystem with an ever-evolving set of systems to manage.

This has led to mounting complexity for MSPs. They must deal with mixed and multiple generations of architectures, a lack of tools to manage a wider variety of systems, and increased security and financial risks.

The rapid evolution will not cease in the next 12 to 18 months. In fact, the landscape will continue to evolve at an increasingly rapid pace, and MSPs must grow and evolve alongside the industry changes.

Here are four trends MSPs can expect to continue over the next 12 to 18 months.

Cybersecurity Will Continue To Be Top Of Mind In Managing Security Threats

Cybersecurity, especially with nation-state-sponsored activities, will continue to challenge companies — and it won’t be limited to larger organizations; companies of all sizes will be in the crosshairs of bad actors. Ongoing global unrest will add to this being top-of-mind.

Visibility to assets, users, access permissions, changes within an environment, and data protection are critical to an MSP’s roadmap and service offerings and can help bolster a company’s security position.

MSPs must ensure they take an active security posture. Cyber awareness training is an area that’s ripe for MSPs to drive thought leadership, mitigation, and revenue with their end customers. 

Work From Anywhere (And Remote Work) Is Here To Stay

While some high-profile companies are urging their employees to return to the office, remote working is here to stay for most companies, even if it is less than during the height of the pandemic.

It is part of the day-to-day now, so MSPs must be positioned to support remote and hybrid workforce environments.

With the semi-permanent transition to work from anywhere, the surface area across which MSPs have to deploy, configure, and maintain the tools needed to protect organizations no longer has a classic security network perimeter.

Zero-trust will continue to be the main theme and performance tuning for connectivity, e.g., home network and ISP support, down to the individual. Businesses need to develop remote network policies.

Co-Management Will Increase As End Customers Choose External Partners Rather Than Hiring More IT Staff

MSPs already work hand-in-hand with companies with smaller IT departments. Considering the macroeconomic environment and broader trends such as The Great Resignation, businesses will evaluate this more readily before staffing up internally.

As a result, MSPs will likely increase hiring external IT vendors rather than increasing their internal teams.

Supply chain shortages and risks will still dominate concerns for MSPs who push and manage hardware. Prices will need to be adjusted, and warranties will be stretched more, making employees even more critical to success.

Increased Adoption Of Cloud And SaaS Solutions

There are more devices out there than there’s ever been. MSPs need to have eyes and ears on every one of those devices, but they can’t do it with humans alone.

While some MSPs still want to hire more team members, they should instead focus on empowering their current team to use technology and automation to accomplish more.

MSP staff will need to be trained to become much more data centric. Scripting automation, orchestration, configuring, and tuning tools that allow them to do more with less staff. 

The increased adoption of cloud and SaaS solutions supports the mobile worker and addresses specific business needs.

Specialized talent is already scarce and expensive and will continue to be so in the next 12 to 18 months.

Security exposure is everywhere, making breaches inevitable. Users demand more choice and freedom, making “shadow IT” the norm.

The increased adoption of new solutions to tackle long-standing issues has never been more important. MSPs must prepare for these changes and evolve as the marketplace does, or risk falling behind.

About The Author

Joe Alapat is co-founder and CEO of Liongard. He is a successful entrepreneur with more than two decades of experience managing IT infrastructure for large enterprises, mid-market companies, and small-to-midsized businesses (SMBs). Joe co-founded Liongard to address the growing challenge of managing modern IT at scale, especially with the proliferation of technology and subsequent lack of visibility, automation and insight needed to manage modern IT with confidence.