If there is one good takeaway from the nearly year-long COVID-19 pandemic, it has to be the increased value of the IT services community. Even the clients who had the occasion to question your firm’s value, usually during contract discussions, are surely seeing your managed services team in a new light right now. MSPs’ stock is rising and could grow at an exponentially higher rate when the virus-related business restrictions expire.

Now is the perfect time to layout an aggressive growth strategy. Despite all the past year's challenges, when the economy opens fully, most industry experts suggest providers with a proactive approach will be in an even better position to increase their revenue streams. If you grow your MSP’s monthly recurring revenue (MRR) significantly, the resulting rise in cash flow can help you fund additional expansion without paying a premium to others for borrowing their money.

Increasing wallet share with existing clients is a logical first step. Adding new technologies and tools that boost a client’s efficiencies and capabilities, or supplement existing cybersecurity protection, also provides incremental revenue streams for your MSP. These win-win scenarios are sure to prevail in the SMB community post-pandemic.

Aim Higher     

MSPs need not limit the size of their target prospects in 2021. Larger organizations are going through the same WFH/hybrid workspace challenges as their SMB counterparts. Due to the quantity of employees, they may be struggling to support users across broader geographies. Many in-house IT teams have more experience working on technologies inside the corporate firewall.

Dealing with all the issues that arise when making extreme workforce transitions can tax any business. Now add in the ongoing support and cybersecurity requirements, and it’s easy to see why many companies in the mid-size to enterprise space could benefit from teaming up with an MSP.

Internal IT staff members can focus on the corporate network and systems, handle any onsite technology needs, and hand off any offsite work to a capable IT services firm. Cybersecurity and 24/7 operational support are two significant opportunity areas for MSPs.

Of course, those are not the only areas where you can deliver value. When pitching prospects with in-house IT teams, the slate is clear, allowing you to tailor support programs to meet that organization's specific needs. MSPs with certain tech specializations, such as advanced cybersecurity services or O365 expertise, may use those capabilities to get a foot in the door.

With superb performance in those areas, providers can strengthen relationships with decision-makers and create additional business opportunities. Building alliances with internal tech professionals and management teams can help MSPs secure renewals and longer-term support contracts.

Be a Cybersecurity Resource    

Co-management comes in many forms. From basic tech support in the off hours to spell the internal tech team to a full-blown collaboration in many areas of the IT ecosystem, MSPs can carve their own space when and where business leaders have a need. Cybersecurity is a high-value opportunity.

A strong combination of internal and external technical expertise will allow even the largest companies to fortify their defensive strategies better. With a wide range of skills and more cybersecurity resources to protect the corporate infrastructure as well as remote work ecosystems, those businesses will be better equipped to meet the challenges of 2021.

Co-managed cybersecurity is a win-win in the current environment − from tightening regulatory requirements to the rapidly escalating threats from cybercriminals. Big or small, businesses without adequate tech resources can benefit from MSP partnerships. They gain a more diverse team of tech professionals with a deep skillset and the ability to protect employees across a larger geographic area cost-effectively.

Co-managed cybersecurity opportunities are on the rise. Is your MSP capable of providing these services, whether on your own or with the support of a strong network of vendors, MSSPs, or other strategic partners? The pandemic created a business case for these relationships, and the options will only grow in 2021.

Brian Sherman, Content Director, IoTSSA