As businesses continue to transform to meet the needs of a much-changed workforce—think WFH and hybrid offices—their requirements for purchasing and consuming business applications are also changing. Gartner estimates that global end-user spending on public cloud services increased 23% last year, and that software-as-a-service (SaaS) spending will reach $145.4 billion in 2022.
There’s a lot of opportunity for MSPs, solution providers and other tech companies to help organizations through their transformations, but they need to know where the big benefits and challenges lie. We asked members of CompTIA’s Business Applications Advisory Council, which produced The Cloud Applications Playbook: Success Strategies for SaaS Vendors and Solution Providers, for their predictions for 2022. Here’s what they had to say:
Shift from RMM to Cloud Management Platforms
“Next year we’ll continue to see an increased shift from traditional remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools to cloud management platforms. With the increased adoption of public cloud by every-sized organization, RMM tools that are responsible for managing on-premise environments are becoming less relevant and the demand or tools to manage all things public cloud will continue to grow.” – Brian Hamel, CEO of Nuvolex
Business Focus Shifts from Device to User
“With hybrid and remote work being the norm, I think we are going to see a huge shift from focusing on identity and security at the device level, to a more holistic view of the user’s identity. We all know that work from anywhere is now an expectation and the devices that people use are more diverse than ever. This will force companies to shift their focus to the user and not the device they are accessing IT resources from.” – Heather Harlos, head of MSP marketing at JumpCloud
AI, IoT Newcomers Will Drive Software-as-a-Service Growth
“One thing to watch out for is AI and IoT—and the endless supply of newcomers to these arenas—will drive major SaaS growth. In addition, next year we’ll see greater employee engagement as a driver for customer engagement—an entirely new marketing engine.” – Angus Robertson, CMO, Chief Outsiders
MSPs Challenged to Embrace Public Cloud
"As the world shifts from on-premise environments to consuming public cloud services, a number of MSPs will be challenged in making that transition, since it requires a complete retooling and training of IT staff when delivering cloud managed services. The MSPs that don’t successfully transition their business run the risk of losing customers that want to shift to public cloud.” – Brian Hamel, CEO of Nuvolex
Increased Focus on New Customer Success Metrics
“With SaaS and digital platform use exploding, it’s more important than ever to measure customer success metrics. Businesses who utilize these modern metrics, such as net new annual recurring revenue (Net New ARR) and net dollar retention (NDR) will hold a competitive advantage. Net New ARR measures growth over your install base, and NDR reports ARR growth per customer and your cross-sell ratio.” – Craig Weir, director of global cybersecurity, Ingram Micro
As Breaches Increase, Security Solutions Can’t—and Won’t—Be Optional Anymore
“As security breaches continue to grow, we will start to see insurance providers significantly increase premiums and requirements to maintain cybersecurity coverage. This will lead to small businesses and MSPs who serve them align to security and compliance frameworks along with a larger stack of solutions. Solutions like security awareness, endpoint detection and response (EDR), backup and vulnerability management solutions will no longer be optional. You will also see insurance companies increase the assessments to verify you have certain controls in place. CIS Controls v8 is quickly becoming the standard framework for these assessments.” – Ryan Burton, vice president of product strategy, Pax8
Security Services Driven by Customer Awareness
“We will continue to see more MSPs with an increased focus in the area of managed security services. Customers’ new awareness of security risks is driving demand for MSPs to deliver security services that increase a managed customer’s security posture. The MSPs who don’t prioritize security as part of their managed services offering will be at a measure market disadvantage.” – Brian Hamel, CEO of Nuvolex
Increased Demand for Apple Devices
“SMBs are adopting Apple devices in record numbers. Mac and iOS devices are hugely popular with Millennials and Gen Z alike, so it behooves MSPs to be prepared to manage these devices to the same standards as Windows devices when the next gen workforce demands Apple in the corporate world – or risk losing clients that make the shift.” – Amy Carr, senior director of marketing, Addigy
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