80% of businesses plan to change their IT security management in the next 12 months

SolarWinds MSP, provider of scalable IT service management solutions to IT solution providers and managed service providers (MSPs), has found that four out of every five businesses across the US and UK will change how they deal with security in the coming 12 months.

This market turbulence is comprised of 17% of companies intending to switch their current service provider in the next 12 months, 10% wanting to cease outsourcing in favour of in-house management, and a huge 49% planning to outsource their security for the first time. This latter group represents an enormous opportunity for IT solution providers and MSPs able to prove their security services credentials.

The report, entitled, "The Path to MSSP", examined the views of more than 400 SMEs and enterprises in the US and UK and explores the opportunity for MSPs in security. In particular, it looks at what it means to be a managed security service provider (MSSP) and the opportunities for MSPs considering this path.

The five types of IT security opportunity the report has revealed over the next 12 months are, in order of value:

  • Businesses currently handling security internally but now want to outsource their security primarily due to cost (25% of the market)
  • Businesses currently handling security internally but now want to outsource it to improve performance (24% of the market)
  • Those currently outsourcing but considering taking security back in-house in the next 12 months (10% of the market)
  • Businesses considering switching service providers due to poor performance (9% of the market)
  • Businesses considering changing providers to reduce costs (8% of the market)

The report also details how these opportunities can only be seized by delivering robust MSSP services, rather than just offering a basic security function. MSPs need to demonstrate they have the Knowledge, Organisational Ability, and the Technology, Tools, and Resource to deliver in the four key areas of IT security: Infrastructure, Data Security, Risk & Vulnerability Management, and Identity and Access Management. MSPs can use these core requirements to judge if they can provide what their customers need from a specialist MSSP, and if they fall short, where they need to invest.

With the report also showing that 70% of businesses would have more faith in an MSSP's security capabilities over a standard MSP, those fulfilling the MSSP criteria will be in a better position to make the most of this outsourcing opportunity.

"Every day brings news of a new security hole that needs to be patched, a massive data breach, or new strain of ransomware that businesses need to watch out for," said Tim Brown, vice president, security architecture at SolarWinds MSP. "Understandably, this creates nervousness amongst enterprises and SMEs and greater scrutiny of the IT security measures in place. Where there is market turbulence, there is also opportunity, and the good news for IT service providers is that this has resulted in almost half of all businesses planning to outsource their security needs to specialists. However, IT service providers need to remember that more opportunity inherently means more competition," warns Brown. "Providers need to be able to prove their knowledge, capabilities, and available resources to take full advantage."

Methodology and Sample

The research was conducted by Sapio Research on behalf of SolarWinds MSP, among 401 UK and US senior business and IT decision makers in organisations that have a managed service provider (MSP) supporting their IT function.

All interviews were completed via an online survey during September of 2017.

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