MSPs need to develop a strategic vision and differentiate to succeed

The Global managed IT services market continues to grow and is expected to expand at a CAGR of 9.4% through to 2024, taking the total market value from USD 145.3 billion in 2016 to a projected USD 249.4 billion by the end of 2024, according to recent research from Wise Guys Reports. But competition is hotting up and it is clear from research by Gartner and others that MSPs globally are facing a multi-faceted struggle to grow their businesses. On the one hand, there is competition from the public cloud players such as AWS, Google and Microsoft who set pricing levels and have reach but are unable to customise or tailor their offerings to specific verticals. The bulk of MSPs are much smaller, and specialist in technologies covered and markets, but need scale to build their profitability and have limited resources.

There is a clear move to consolidate among larger players, with Gartner saying that, when compared to 2017, the entry criteria have become much harder and stringent. The focus has squarely shifted to hyperscale infrastructure providers, it says, and this has resulted in it dropping more than 14 vendors from its top players list. According to Gartner, there are no more visionaries and challengers left in the market; only a handful of leaders and niche players driving the momentum.

At the other end of the market, among smaller players, the pace of competition has stepped up and they are feeling a major pressure to differentiate, either on skills, markets covered, geographical coverage or in customer relations. According to Gartner's research director Mark Paine: “The key to a successful and differentiated business is to give customers what they want by helping them (the customer) buy”. One way to win more customers is by showing them their place in the future, according to Jim Bowes, CEO and founder of digital agency Manifesto, and Robert Belgrave, chief executive of digital agency hosting specialist Wirehive. The two experts, plus Gartner’s Mark Paine will be addressing these and other marketing issues for MSPs at the UK Managed Services & Hosting Summit in London on 19 September. Agenda here: http://www.mshsummit.com/agenda.php

A key part of the event will also be hearing from the experiences of MSPs themselves and looking at established winning ideas. Now in its eighth year, the UK Managed Services & Hosting Summit event will bring leading hardware and software vendors, hosting providers, telecommunications companies, mobile operators and web services providers involved in managed services and hosting together with Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and resellers, integrators and service providers migrating to, or developing their own managed services portfolio and sales of hosted solutions.

It is a management-level event designed to help channel organisations identify opportunities arising from the increasing demand for managed and hosted services and to develop and strengthen partnerships aimed at supporting sales. Building on the success of previous managed services and hosting events, the summit will feature a high-level conference programme exploring the impact of new business models and the changing role of information technology within modern businesses.

The UK Managed Services and Hosting Summit 2018 which is jointly run by IT Europa and Angel Business Communications will take place at 155 Bishopsgate, London, on 19 September 2018. MSPs, resellers and integrators wishing to attend the convention and vendors, distributors or service providers interested in sponsorship opportunities can find further information at:

www.mshsummit.com

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