DATTO: What will 2019 hold for MSPs?

by James Bergl, Director, Datto, Asia-Pacific

With 2019 in full spin and Chinese New Year fast approaching – now is the time for planning a strategy of attack to ensure that the year of the Pig is a fruitful one for your company and your clients.
If 2018 taught us anything, it’s that the changes we have seen over the past year is just the beginning of a worldwide shift which will continue this year. From a security standpoint, we see threats like ransomware continuing to grow in frequency and complexity – which has made having the right security and back-up strategy no longer a ‘nice to have,’ but more a ‘must have’ for organisations - big and small. Aside from this, we are also seeing shifts in the way that the IT sector in Singapore and the wider Asia-Pacific region is evolving in the face of increasing regulation and talent shortages.  
It’s clear that 2019 is likely to be a significant year of change, progress, and important decision-making for Managed Service Providers (MSPs) looking to get ahead. With this in mind we have put together four pointers to make your Year of the Pig a fruitful one.

  1. Cyberthreats are not going away

In a post WannaCry era, most businesses in Asia are aware of the risk that cybercriminals pose to their businesses. The rise of the dark web and accessibility of malicious software to even the most basic would-be hacker continues to underline an inescapable problem. This year we expect to see an increase in this threat – in both frequency and complexity, seeing a rise in the number of targeted attacks – including cryptojacking – or attacks designed to mine cryptocurrencies. While this environment of risk has taught MSPS and their customers to be prepared, many still react to attacks after-the-fact. This year we expect to see a move towards a more proactive approach to safeguarding data – with watertight security, backup and recovery options being top priority for IT managers in 2019.

  1. Rise of peer2peer working

The lifeblood of MSPs is staying ahead of the curve when it comes to ever evolving customer demands. Those that lead the way forward know that being agile and up-to-date on what’s happening in the industry and new and improved ways of working will help them to anticipate what the customer needs, before they need it. In the face of widespread talent shortages across the Asia-Pacific region, staying on top can seem like a tall order. Smart MSPs are already looking at ways to partner with SMBs and colleagues in non-competing markets in order to share information and find business solutions. This trend is likely to flourish this year, and it’s those MSPs that jump onboard this collaborative train who are likely to emerge victorious.

  1. More companies move to outsource IT

Increasing industry regulation and compliance brought on by the introduction of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and similar country-specific regulatory frameworks like Singapore’s Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), continues to be good news for MSPs. These introductions have underlined the responsibility of businesses in the region to safeguard the data and privacy of their customers, and as businesses struggle to navigate what can seem to be an increasingly complex minefield, we expect to see more demand for outsourced talent to lead the way. With limited resources, SMBs will be top of the list when it comes to needing this assistance, however in the face of continued talent shortages across the region – we expect large organisations to also follow suit – reaching out to external companies to assist their IT teams in making sure they have their backs covered when it comes to compliance and security issues.     

  1. AI and machine learning

The AI market in the Asia-Pacific was estimated at around US $450 million in 2017 and is expected to grow at CAGR of 46.9% by 2022. As governments across Asia supports this growth, it’s likely that this region will soon overtake the US as the biggest hub of AI innovation. We are fast seeing the democratisation of this technology – which due to its open source nature is fast becoming increasingly accessible and affordable to businesses of all sizes. The role of this technology in business decision making is already widely known, however this year we expect to see more applications of this technology in cybersecurity providing a more proactive, predictive approach to safeguarding data.

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