Has 2016 been a good year for your cloud business? If you played your cards right, your answer should be a resounding yes. And with good reason. The market for cloud services is blazing hot. Statistics compiled by ChannelE2E have predicted that the global market for managed services is expected to grow to almost $230 billion by 2020.
A strong market means fierce competition for Managed Service Providers like you. A lot of MSPs are entering the market and coming up with new ways to attract more customers. As 2017 approaches, you can bet that all those resellers will be doubling their efforts to learn about the latest MSP trends. So, what is your game plan for next year? Have you looked at the Managed Services trends? We’ve done a bit of research and identified five of the most important IT service trends for 2017. Read all about it.

 

Do you want to know about every MSP trends for 2017? Download our 2017 Trends in Cloud Computing Report

 

More MSPs Becoming Channel Partners

Driving new business and finding ways to go to market faster are two of the main concerns MSPs will face in 2017. As the cloud market continues to grow, you’ll find that your clients will be asking you for all kinds of products and services that you just can’t deliver. Things like 24/7 technical support, migration services and even access to the latest cloud products. Rather than trying to stretch your limited resources, you might find it a lot easier and more profitable to join forces with a trusted cloud provider. Some partner programs offer free cloud support and migration services to their resellers. If you want to attract more clients and go to market faster, you’d be wise to start shopping around. Not only can a partner program help you with support and migration, but many programs also have experts on staff who can teach you the ropes about marketing and selling cloud solutions.

Think Data Security

As we already mentioned, the global market for managed cloud services is growing at a frenetic pace. A report by 451 Research has predicted that the Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) for managed services will reach 25.6 percent by 2018. This opens the door for more MSPs and it puts pressure on all resellers to explore new ways to drive business. Be on the lookout for opportunities for data archiving and security. As more companies turn to cloud servers, hosted email and online backup to run their companies, they’ll also be looking for better ways to manage and archive all the data they produce. Easy access is an important issue. Your clients need to find the data they want when they want it. Not having access to vital email messages and file attachments at the right time could cost your clients a lot of money in revenue, fines and other penalties. Smart MSPs should look for solutions that will help their clients comply with government mandates, industry regulations and corporate policies.

Work Smarter with Monthly Recurring Revenue

Can you think of a better way to do business? You increase your profits without spending more money on extra resources. A lot of MSPs have gone this route and it’s sure to become more popular in 2017. Again, all roads lead to your partner program. By joining forces with an established cloud provider, you can create easy opportunities to create Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). One of the best ways to do this is to sell Microsoft solutions under your partner’s Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) program. Microsoft has recently extended this program to include Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Azure. The CSP program allows resellers to create unique product bundles by combining Microsoft solutions with their own-value added services, such as technical support or product training. Some resellers have reported profit increases of up to 50 percent just by switching part of their business model to include cloud services.

Keep Your Customers Satisfied

It goes without saying. If you can offer your clients good solutions, they’ll keep coming back for more. After all, they’re looking for a trusted IT advisor who can help them deal with all their technical problems. If you don’t have the resources to set up your own support and migration services, you can offer white-label services through your CSP provider. You own the customer relationship, which means you control the pricing, billing, provisioning and management. When it comes to support and migration, it’s up to your provider. Whether you offer the support yourself or hand it over to your provider, the result is the same: you’ll build a stronger relationship with your customers. It’s also one of the best ways to set yourself apart from the competition and a great way to get repeat business. If you offer a variety of value-added services like 24/7 support and migration, you’ll build an interesting cloud portfolio and develop professional services that will address your clients’ specific needs.

Stay Up to Date with Your Customers’ Needs

Too many MSPs make the same mistake. They offer the same services year after year and try to squeeze every penny out of the deal. What they don’t realize is that SMBs are adopting cloud technology at a faster rate every year. If you don’t offer the cutting-edge services your clients need to stay competitive, they’ll simply go somewhere else. So, talk to your customers. Find our what their concerns are and which products they want! By taking the time to survey your customers’ needs, you may find out there is potential for other services that you haven’t even considered.

Now that you’ve had a look at some of the IT service trends for 2017, it’s time to ask yourself an important question: Are you still interested in going solo, or is it time you bit the bullet and joined forces with a trusted cloud provider?

Partners First, SherWeb’s partner program, will give you automatic access to one of the best technical support teams in the industry. We’re on call for you 24/7/365 and we offer free migration and go-to-market resources. SherWeb can help you stay ahead of the game for all the latest MSP trends. Find out more about SherWeb’s partner program.

Find out more about SherWeb’s partner program.

 

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Written by Mathieu Leblanc Business Development and Partner Network Director @ SherWeb

Mathieu Leblanc is SherWeb's Partner Network Director. His extensive experience in the field helps him pinpoint upcoming trends that matter to MSPs and IT consultants.