Major growth is predicted in the managed services space throughout Asia-Pacific over the next few years, as business leaders across the region look to managed service providers (MSPs) to address the growing range of technology and business challenges that they’re coming up against.
The challenge for MSPs will be to develop their own businesses to meet the evolving needs of their customers. Asian MSPs can look forward to a couple of years of rapid growth if they can meet the challenge.
Globally, the managed services space is expected to hit $US282 billion by 2023, an increase of more than 9.3 per cent from 2018. This is a particularly impressive outcome given MSPs have been an established force in IT from as far back as 2005. MSP business models and technology are now very mature in the US, Australia, and across Europe.
As a result, much of the growth in demand for managed services will take place in markets such as Asia-Pacific, where interest in recent years has been enthusiastic, despite the market remaining immature.
Building out managed services throughout Asia-Pacific
Customers throughout the region are increasingly comfortable with the idea of consumption of services via subscription. This is because businesses in the region face many of the same challenges as small businesses in other parts of the world – most notably, a lack of resources to furnish an internal team of IT experts.
The main challenges business leaders are looking to managed services to resolve are security (59 per cent), and the difficulty in finding and retaining the right staff (51 per cent). Those challenges are so ubiquitous to all lines of business within an organisation that business leaders are also looking to outsource just about everything to MSPs – from security (58 per cent) and cloud (55 per cent), through to systems and applications management such as ERP and CRM (50 per cent).
However, many channel organisations within the region continue to rely on the break-fix approach, and managed services are treated as a bolted-on revenue opportunity. What is less common is to see partners building dedicated business models around managed services, and leverage those to provide customer business outcomes and improved capabilities, rather than simply enhancing capacity. Because of this, there remains a disconnect between the types of services that many businesses are looking for, and the services available to them through MSPs.
What innovation looks like in the MSP space
As demand for MSPs grows within the Asia-Pacific region, organisations looking to sell managed services will need to adopt new tools and solutions to enable a more nuanced approach. These tools – such as the SolarWinds MSP platform – have already proven successful among MSPs in mature markets, and are now set to change how businesses across Asia-Pacific offer managed services. The features built into the SolarWinds solution are tailored around elevating the managed service to enable true scalability and new revenue opportunities for any MSP that wants to evolve beyond break-fix.
Some of the features that you'll find in SolarWinds MSP products, such as SolarWinds RMM, are designed for MSPs to build new business models around, including:
- Automation: The SolarWinds RMM platform includes SolarWinds Remote Monitoring & Management (SolarWinds RMM), which provides MSPs with automated checks and a drag-and-drop editor that allows them to create scripts without writing code. In freeing an MSP’s from break-fix and management, the MSP can focus more energy on providing customers with thought leadership and higher-level consultancy around competitive differentiation.
- Comprehensive Remote Management: In addition to the automation above, the SolarWinds RMM includes a comprehensive suite of tools, including Remote Control, Web Protection, Antivirus, Patch Management and Backup. These tools allow the MSP to fully and comprehensively act as the IT resource for their clients, and deepen the level of ongoing engagement into each client.
- Network and service management: By setting thresholds, the SolarWinds RMM platform can provide notifications that highlight small problems before they become large.
- Data-driven insights: Data and analytics increasingly determine the health and success of a business. Through this platform, MSPs will be able to leverage data-driven insights that are delivered direct to the dashboard. This gives MSP the equivalent of a data scientist to provide on to their customers, at a time where, throughout Asia-Pacific, there are severe (and accelerating) skill shortages around data science to contend with.
- Standardised platform: MSPs are able to run the SolarWinds RMM solution across Windows, Mac, Linux and mobile devices.
- Scalability: Being able to “pay as you grow” is an essential part of an MSP enabling organisations to seamlessly transition to a managed services model.
Investing in MSPs in Asia-Pacific
To help build the maturity of managed services within Asia-Pacific, having the right support on the ground is crucial. MSPs will need the assistance of leading resources and capabilities to help them build out new, comprehensive solutions. With this in mind, SolarWinds has formed a distribution agreement with Ingram Micro throughout the region.
The Asia-Pacific market is primed to take the next steps in managed services, moving away from simple bolted-on services for incremental revenue gain to the emergence of dedicated MSPs that build business models, and competitive differentiation, around comprehensive solutions for their customers. Having access to tools such as the SolarWinds MSP solution, as well as leading distribution support through the region, will help those MSPs reach competitive maturity quickly.
For more information on the SolarWinds MSP solution, click here.