By Bob Penland, CTO, TruMethods, LLC
What is the most signicant trend that MSPs should be aware of?
The single biggest trend is the disintermediation of products and services to the SMB market. In the past, the companies that produced products needed the channel to wrap services around their products to sell into the SMB market. Now, we have a big push from all corners of the technology market to deliver these products as services directly to SMBs. The cloud is making it possible for traditional channel companies to offer their products directly to the SMB market as a service without having to have the same relationship with the MSP channel. It's not happening overnight, but there will be more access for SMBs to buy products and services directly without involving an MSP. MSPs that aren't prepared for this change and don't have the right relationship with their clients will struggle in the years to come.
Having said that, it doesn't mean I believe that MSPs are going away anytime soon. SMBs still need and want to deal with a single vendor for their IT support. The changes in the marketplace and in technology are a great opportunity for us to expand our services for the betterment of our clients (and our bottom line.)