Trends in Managed Services 2022 research by CompTIA found that MSP enthusiasm is high for a wide variety of innovative technologies that can serve as a pathway for growth and profitability. Emerging technologies, such as blockchain, artificial intelligence and drones, spark business owners’ imaginations and ignite their curiosity about innovation and money-making potential. MSPs are among the most inspired. Yet, it is not easy to turn inspiration into profit. MSPs are experts in managing traditional infrastructure software and hardware, but they are not experts in cryptocurrency or virtual reality. This is why adapting to emerging technology will require investments, new thinking, and adjustments.
What does this journey look and how can it be successful?
It’s important to identify the current position of emerging tech on today’s MSP radar screen in order to answer these questions. Trends in Managed Services 2022 research by CompTIA shows that MSP enthusiasm is high for a wide variety of technologies to help them grow and profit. Half of respondents believe emerging technologies, which can be sold to customers or used internally to run their business operations, will play a significant role in the evolution and growth of managed services in the next two-years. 43% of respondents believe that emtech will play at least a modest role. Trend Watch
MSPs of all sizes share the belief that future growth and success will depend at least partially on successful adoption of emerging technologies. This belief is shared by those with less than 10 employees up to enterprise-level professionals. Like many business decisions, success in achieving that goal depends on the preparation. MSPs embarking upon an emtech journey should ask more questions than just a few. Consider:
Which emerging technologies are most effective for my business goals? What is the best technology for my customers?
What is the cost of adoption? How can we finance it?
What are our ROI targets
Are we able to use the technical skills necessary? What are the best ways to acquire them?
What should be the emphasis on new technologies and what should be our mainstays?
Are sales, marketing, demand-gen messages and marketing aligned with the newer offerings?
What vendors can we work with?
These questions can be subjective depending on the type MSP company being questioned. As with any new market or discipline, it is important to review this list before you dive in.
What’s on your Emerging Tech Menu?
It is difficult to know which technologies are available. It is difficult to keep track of all the technologies that fall under the umbrella of emtech. The list of products is so long and varied that it’s nearly impossible to group them together. But, until one or more of them break out and create a new category, “newest” is their primary shared status.
This volume of options would lead one to believe that the average MSP cannot offer all the solutions. Although this is largely true, a large number of MSPs report business activity in multiple emtech areas simultaneously, often checking the box for up to four solutions or experimenting with them today. The MSP that focuses all its efforts on one area, such as drones and robotics, is at the opposite end of the spectrum.
MSPs typically sell emtech tools either as standalone solutions or as integrated features in other services (think artificial Intelligence baked into cloud-based CRM software). Others are still in the experimental phase of pilot projects and have not yet monetized these offerings. There is also the internal use of emtech tools, such as automation software, that can improve the operational side. This is a period of experimentation, and specialization.
The top-ranked emerging technology, 5G, is one of many currently in production (for sale or pilot mode by MSPs). Closely followed by automation technologies, and artificial intelligence. However, the gap between the incidence rates of the top three technologies versus the bottom three technologies is not large. There is no clear winner among the emerging tech options. MSPs are likely to be trying out more tools than what they ultimately choose. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular emerging technologies MSPs are reporting activity on today. 5G may not seem like a good fit for MSPs at first glance. It is primarily the domain of large telecom providers that are reworking vast infrastructures to increase network capacity.