9 Top Security Predictions from Gartner– Plus Advice!

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As a leading analyst firm, Gartner comes out with a steady stream of predictions. One of the latest rounds concerns security. The predictions are designed to help IT pros take security seriously. After all, cybercriminals are more organized and dangerous every day.

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The Pundits’ Take on MSP 2.0

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MSP 2.0 is not exactly a new term, but it is really catching on to describe the current managed service provider market.

The Kaseya Take on MSP 2.0

As a vendor largely focused on MSPs, Kaseya has a deep commitment to help MSPs successfully navigate in an MSP 2.0 world.  Kaseya offers a comprehensive collection of solutions, from RMM to PSA, identity and access to cloud monitoring, and more, that are all MSP 2.0 ready.

In our analysis, MSP 2.0 is in part a manifestation of market growth. MSPs have matured from part-time operators and small 1-5 person technician-dominated companies five short years ago to larger process-centric organizations with strong technical capabilities combined with professional sales, support, marketing, finance, and management teams. Because of the larger clients, super-MSPs that could handle the scale evolved. These MSPs are 100% focused on growth and expansion and employ professional sales, marketing, and technical delivery organizations to acquire new accounts and often displace smaller less mature MSPs.

On the other side, small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), the prime targets for MSPs, are increasingly demanding and requiring the same technologies and processes that have been pioneered and used for years by enterprises.

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The Risks and Rewards of a Hybrid Cloud

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Remember when the cloud was the new big thing? Then private clouds where all the rage. Now we are inundated with talk of hybrid clouds which combine private and public clouds into one unified system.

Before we talk about why hybrid clouds sound so great, we should touch on why private clouds are so compelling.  With the help of server virtualization, you take your own infrastructure and make it cloud-like – basically turn it into a utility. But you control the whole thing and, because it is local, you have full control of its performance.

The problem is that as demand grows you have to scale up the private cloud by adding more resources – even if you only need those resources every now and again. At the same time, there are services you want in the easy-access public cloud (because users can get to the cloud from anywhere) but you still  want these applications and data linked to your on-premises applications.
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Building a Serviceable Service Desk

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If there is a bread and butter aspect to a successful MSP, it has to be the service desk. Here is where the rubber meets the road, client IT problems addressed, and is the focal point for how clients interact with your company.

A mediocre or substandard service desk is a death knell. In contrast, a superb service desk creates customer loyalty, SLA compliance and great word of mouth. At the same time, such a desk is efficient, creating more revenue and profit opportunity.

Building an optimum service desk takes thought, planning and careful execution. Here are six areas to focus on, starting with staffing:
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What’s A Next Generation PSA And Why On Earth Do You Need One?

 

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Professional Services Automation (PSA) software has been around for decades and, in too many cases, is getting long in the tooth.

Most of these tools were originally built for general-purpose business use.  Later, PSA tools were created especially for IT implementations. Because these focused on technical projects and tasks, it  was a big step forward but, for MSPs, it was not nearly enough. Solutions built for internal IT departments are not of optimal use for service providers. These IT tools are overly generic and are designed to be used by dozens of vertical markets. Serving this many masters dilutes these PSAs’ ability to serve MSPs’ unique needs.

There are many items that define an MSP-specific PSA, including the ability to work tightly with other key MSP software solutions and to directly manage MSP projects without a lot of tinkering or configuration.
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Finding the Right MSP Exit Strategy

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MSPs organizations are businesses, and like most businesses have goals. One of those is usually making money. The biggest way to cash in could be when you sell the whole company.

Getting your company ready to sell takes a tremendous amount of discipline – and this rigor is of benefit whether you ultimately sell or not.

Rick Murphy, CEO of Cogent Growth Partners which helps MSPs find acquisitions, says it is never too early to get your company ready to sell. “Most business owners don’t think about their exit plan until it’s too late to do anything about it, and they unknowingly miss all of the benefits that can come from having the plan in place from day one. While it might seem outlandish to be contemplating an exit while your business is young, professional investors know you don’t invest unless you understand how you are going to exit, and small business owners can benefit from this thinking,” Murphy argues.
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Policy-driven Security Helps You Stay Ahead of the Bad Guys

policy-based-securityKaspersky Labs just published a new eBook, Cybercriminals: Unmasking the Villain, which provides insight into cybercriminals’ evolving strategies and tactics. There are three points in particular that I want to highlight:

  • “31% of all cyberattacks are directed at businesses with less than 250 employees”
  • “42% of confidential data loss is caused by employees” often due to well-meaning employees “opening unauthorized email attachments, forwarding sensitive information or storing data insecurely”
  • “Hacking a small business to get into a larger business is now standard operating procedure for cybercriminals.”

These evolving cybercriminal practices underscore the reality that proper, up-to-date security practices are more vital than ever to the health and well-being of every company, no matter its size.  The risks are too high, and the incidence of exposure and breaches is only increasing.
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The Answer to Higher Ed IT Challenges – Automation

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Higher Education IT pros face myriad IT challenges ─ unstable budgets, constant end user churn, a never ending battle to attract students, and tough competition which requires innovation just to keep pace.

The answer to these challenges sounds simple, but it will deliver seriously great results. You must automate your IT operations and maximize efficiency so you can focus on your school’s strategic needs.

First we’ll tackle the benefit of automation. Then we’ll show what areas of innovation you can focus on once your IT shop is operating at peak efficiency.
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The Ten Most Important MSP Business Metrics – How Do You Measure Up?

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In the MSP world, there are tens of dozens of possible metrics you can adapt. Try and do so, though, and you’ll spend all your time measuring and precious little driving growth. The trick is to choose those metrics that work for your business and management style.

MSP consultancy Taylor Business Group (TBG) is focused on helping clients drive profit, and it has 10 metrics it says are the most important metrics to keep MSPs on track to achieve their goals.
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How to Thrive in an MSP 2.0 World: Increasing Growth, Margins, and Customer Loyalty

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In last month’s blog, I outlined how rapidly changing SMB client requirements are reshaping the MSP Market.  These demands to broaden MSPs’ service portfolio, combined with downward pricing pressure from increased competition, are squeezing operating margins and reducing the overall profitability of an MSP’s business.

The MSP world is changing fast, with new technologies, new competition and ever-changing market forces, pushing MSPs towards their next phase of evolution. Kaseya calls this next phase MSP 2.0, since it is a natural extension of the MSP 1.0 phase that emerged after the Break/Fix era.

New MSP Growth Opportunities and New Challenges

The new MSP 2.0 environment creates both new growth opportunities and new challenges for MSPs.

Overall, the rate of consumption of MSP services by SMBs is expected to grow annually over 45% year over year for the next several years, representing a global market opportunity approaching $75 BILLION USD per year by 2020.

However, while the opportunities are clear and overwhelming for the MSP market as a whole, individual MSPs must each adapt to these changing market dynamics or risk falling behind.

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