Taking a Cybersecurity Role in a Co-Managed IT Environment

Greg Edwards

Business is changing. Not only are the SMB clients you support transforming their operations from WFH and hybrid work environments to the adoption of more cloud services, but larger organizations are openly seeking new options. The more than year-long COVID-19 pandemic continues to stretch the already thin resources of many businesses, including those with large IT departments, and their management teams are looking at all possible relationships.

MSPs are at the top of that list. One of the good things that came from the pandemic is the heightened respect business have for the IT services community. Clients who previously questioned your firm’s value, especially during the pricing part of contract discussions, are likely seeing your managed services team in a new light. MSPs’ stock continues to rise as cybersecurity and remote support needs increase and may grow exponentially in the coming months, as companies adapt to their individual “new normal” work environments.  

Now is the perfect time to lay out a more aggressive business growth strategy. Despite all the past year's challenges, IT service providers with a proactive approach are in an ideal position to expand their revenue streams when the world reopens fully. Growing your MSP’s monthly recurring revenue (MRR) will boost cash flow, allowing you to self-fund expansion. Why pay strangers interest when you can use your own money?

Increasing wallet share with your current clients is a logical first step. Many MSPs focus their efforts on selling new technologies and services to boost efficiencies and competencies or augment cybersecurity. Of course, those solutions also provide incremental revenue streams, creating a win-win scenario for providers and their clients in a post-pandemic world.

Scale Your Audience

MSPs need not limit the size of their target prospects in 2021. Larger organizations are going through the same WFH/hybrid workspace challenges as their SMB counterparts. Due to the number of employees and endpoints they need to support across cities, states, and regions, even those with large in-house IT teams struggle to manage it all.

In fact, dealing with all the disruptive problems that can occur when transitioning workforces can overwhelm any organization. With even more support and cybersecurity requirements in a WFH environment, it is easy to see why so many mid-to enterprise-size companies could benefit from working with an MSP.

These alliances allow internal IT team member to focus their time and energy on managing critical corporate networks and systems and handling onsite support needs, and hand offsite work over to a capable IT services partner. Cybersecurity and 24/7 helpdesk services are two of these biggest areas of opportunity for MSPs.

Of course, those are not your only options for delivering value to larger businesses. When pitching prospects with in-house IT teams, the slate is essentially clear, allowing you to match and tailor support programs to each organization's specific needs. With size comes quantity and profitability, as well as an opening to new opportunities in the future. For example, MSPs with certain tech specializations, such as advanced cybersecurity services like anti-ransomware expertise, or skills with the MS O365platform and various integrations, may use those capabilities to get a foot in the door.

With superb performance in any in-demand area of expertise, providers can strengthen relationships with decision-makers and create lucrative new revenue streams. Building alliances with internal tech professionals and management teams can help MSPs secure renewals and longer-term support contracts.

Be a Cybersecurity Resource  

Co-management comes in many forms. From basic tech support in the off hours to augment the internal tech team, to a full-blown collaboration in many areas of the IT ecosystem, MSPs can carve their own space when and where business leaders have a need. Cybersecurity is one of the highest-value opportunities you can offer businesses today.

A strong combination of internal and external technical expertise will allow even the largest companies to strengthen their defenses. With a wide range of skills and more cybersecurity resources to protect the corporate infrastructure and remote work ecosystems, you can help those businesses better address today’s ever-changing business challenges.

Co-managed cybersecurity is a win-win in the current environment − from tightening regulatory requirements to the rapidly escalating threats from cybercriminals. Big or small, any business without adequate tech resources can benefit from a partnership with your MSP. They gain a more diverse team of tech professionals with a deep skill set and the ability to protect employees across larger geographic areas cost-effectively.

Co-managed cybersecurity opportunities are on the rise. Is your MSP capable of providing these services, whether on your own or with the support of a strong network of vendors, MSSPs, or other strategic partners? The pandemic created a business case for these relationships, and the options will only grow in 2021.  


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