Channel Partner Blog

And how partnering with a Managed Service Provider will help turn them into opportunities to grow their businesses. 

According to Spiceworks’ “The State of IT 2024” study, two-thirds, or 66%, of respondents said they plan to increase information technology spending in 2024, and more than half, 52%, cite the need to modernize technology infrastructure as the top reason why. 

Managed Services Market GraphAnd it looks like managed services will play a big role in those plans. In 2024, respondents expect to dedicate a full 9% of their IT budget to managed services. 

That continues the overall upward trajectory of the managed service provider industry, which has outpaced increases in IT spending overall during the last few years (source).

That trend is not likely to change. The latest estimates from Mordor Intelligence project the MSP sector to grow by nearly 8% by 2028. 
It’s not hard to understand why. According to the Mordor research, MSP clients say they reduced IT costs by 25-45% and increased operational efficiency by 45-65% (source). But these numbers also have big implications for another sector of the IT industry: Independent consultants. 

What does the rise of MSP mean for IT consultants? 

Usually, a shift to outsourcing expertise is good news for IT and business consultants. This time is different. Today’s IT clients want both deep specialization and a broad range of technical abilities. The more a consultant can do, the better. 

“Competition is fierce as firms boast of their ability to provide insight and fulfill all a client’s needs,” according to a new analysis of the IT consulting sector by industry analyst IBIS World. “It’s based on technical expertise, quality of service, availability of value-added services, and price.” 

So, if you’re an independent technology consultant, an independent virtual CIO, or a fractional CIO, here are the likely challenges you’ll face in the coming 12-18 months – and ways partnering with an MSP can help you meet them and add value to your business. 

Challenge 1: Staying ahead of the curve.

While your clients want both deep knowledge and specialization, they also expect you to keep pace with what technology trends can mean for their business. They expect consultants to be a one-stop shop. With the advent of cloud computing, IoT, and hybrid work, environments are becoming more complex. Consultants must navigate these complexities to provide effective solutions, requiring a deep understanding of various technologies. 

How an MSP adds partnership value: To maximize your marketability in a competitive consulting environment, you must find ways to stay sharp and continually update your knowledge and skills, making them as broad as possible. That’s a tall order. But as an MSP sales partner, you’re able to provide additional value to your clients, stay focused on what you do well, and create an important new income stream for your business.

Challenge #2: Controlling operating expenses.

For your clients to maintain the cost advantage of working with a consultant, you must keep your business costs in check as well. You need to find additional ways to bring value to your client without raising prices. But there’s only one of you and 24 hours in a day, so that means augmenting your skills with additional staff, leaving you back where you started: Scrambling for hard-to-find talent in an overheated labor market.

How an MSP partnership adds value: You increase business opportunitiesnot your workload or staff. Having a new suite of abilities to offer through a trustworthy MSP partner strengthens your ties to clients. That helps to further differentiate you from your competition and makes you invaluable to them. 

Challenge #3: Maintaining cybersecurity credibility.

Currently, there are almost 4 million cybersecurity professionals in the world, a 10% jump in one year. Yet in a survey of more than 14,000 IT security pros, 67% report their lack of cybersecurity expertise (source). Unless cybersecurity is all you do, the threat matrix is too complex, fast-moving, and specialized to keep up with.  

How an MSP partnership adds value: You’re able to offer your clients access to cybersecurity professionals with up-to-the-minute expertise to stay in sync with the latest threats. Not only are you adding another arrow to your IT quiver of services, but you also help them better mitigate risk.  

Challenge #4: Providing custom IT solutions.

Off-the-shelf solutions don’t cut it for many clients today. They increasingly demand tailored solutions specific to their business needs and challenges. Small IT shops may lack the skill sets and the resources to create whatever solution a client requires. 

How MSP partnerships add value: Being able to bring a broad suite of solutions allows independent IT consultants to meet a wide range of client needs, from building custom apps to dealing with legacy architecture to creating custom data dashboards. It gives you a deep bench of resources to meet almost any need.  

What it all means: If you’re an independent IT consultant, virtual CIO, or provide other technology services, clients will be expecting more from you in the future. Consultants offering a full spectrum of abilities have the upper hand in winning and retaining clients who now expect more than ever. It’s imperative you find a partner that can help you stay competitive. 

Leverage Vertikal6’s IT expertise to grow your business. 

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