From The Expert Feature Article
March 10, 2015

The MSP Industry in 2015: Navigating the Changes on the Horizon

By TMCnet Special Guest
Adam Simpson , CEO and Co-Founder, Easy Office Phone

Managed Service Providers will benefit from a sea of changes in the small to medium business (SMB) sector, according to survey responses from MSPs across various industries. The following identified trends will present new opportunities as 2015 progresses, in addition to certain challenges.

Disaster Recovery solutions will gain traction across business sizes

Due to time and resource limitations, many SMBs were in the past less receptive than their enterprise counterparts to the need for Disaster Recovery (DR) planning. This paradigm has shifted over the last several years, with SMBs actually adopting server virtualization at a faster pace than enterprise competitors.  Leading MSPs have reported indications of increased receptiveness to DR solutions within their SMB client bases. 

“A few years ago, the challenge was getting small to medium businesses to realize that disasters really can and do happen,” says Dale Shulmistra, Technology Strategist at Invenio IT.  “With a little more education, companies come to understand that ‘natural’ disasters are only a portion of what can affect their business. The corollary effect is that these solutions are more and more accessible to those SMBs, where before these services were primarily the domain of enterprise businesses.”

The migration to the cloud will be tempered by hybrid solutions

While cloud adoption rates will continue to rise, SMBs are showing an interest in hybrid Public and Private Cloud Solutions. Companies both large and small have benefited from the migration to Public Cloud Solution for three particular reasons:

  • Cost savings
  • Improved overall quality of service and performance
  • Relatively swift and simple implementation

Solutions such as hosted email, file sync solutions, and off-site backup are more cost effective in a hosted environment. That said, many SMBs have not yet transitioned to cloud computing. MSPs attribute this hesitance to fears about cloud security, control of their data and sharing data space within a public cloud solution. Firms with specialized Line of Business (LOB) Apps, compliance requirements or sensitive customer data need the redundancy and uptime of a public cloud solution, but also the security provided by a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or a dedicated private network circuit. Storage and data transfer costs are steadily falling, and as a result, hosted private cloud solutions are becoming more appealing for organizations that prefer not to use shared physical resources, as is the norm in a public solution.

“Hosted private cloud solution will become the tool of choices for security-focused companies,” says Victor Liu, President at LinkHigh Technologies. “Many industry verticals have strong compliance standards requirements, and new verticals present additional compliance needs.  As a result, the threat of major hacks from an organized crime syndicates of hackers is imminent”

SMB clients will look to MSPs as their security advisors

With a large number of SMBs planning to implement both public and private cloud solutions in 2015, the spectrum of internal and external threats to data security is expanding. There was a time when, in order to access confidential data, hackers first had to gain access to a company’s firewalls, and then tunnel their way into the network and servers.  The barrier to entry is now dangerously reduced; a hacker can simply send an email with a link that can download and install applications on a laptop or smartphone without the user being any the wiser.  Hackers can then silently gather the needed credentials, and gain complete access to a company’s network.  As enterprise businesses tighten their security practices, more hackers are making SMBs their targets of choice. 

“Implementing a mix of local and online/cloud services as well as security protocols to help prevent, deter, or mitigate these types of issues is becoming a standard practice,” said Kartik Nagpal, IT Director at FlashByte. “More companies and users are moving towards a mobile and cloud environment to save costs and become flexible, but the risk of the data being compromised has increased significantly since most of the data resides on or is accessible by laptops, tablets and smartphones these days”

About Adam Simpson: Adam Simpson is the CEO and co-founder of Easy Office Phone (News - Alert) where he oversees the creation of new sales channels including a North American Dealer Program, plays a leading role in software development, manages the company’s network infrastructure, and builds dedicated teams of sales, support and engineering staff. Under Simpson’s leadership, Easy Office Phone has grown rapidly and steadily into a highly respected provider of Hosted PBX (News - Alert) service to clients throughout Canada and North America since its launch in 2005.

Edited by Dominick Sorrentino