Well, that was an interesting year. Between the continued impact of the pandemic on workforces, supply chain issues, and headline-grabbing cybersecurity attacks, 2021 was a year to remember—or maybe to forget.
As we look ahead to 2022, CompTIA asked representatives from its membership communities and Industry Advisory Councils for their predictions for 2022. As thought leaders from around the IT industry, their collective insights include issues such as cybersecurity, WFH, government regulations, and more. Here’s what they had to say:
MSP Insurance Will Become Necessary
“I predict cybersecurity insurance carriers will legislate a security floor for managed IT service providers and their customers. Ransomware is evading law enforcement as it is difficult ‘follow the money’ with cryptocurrency and the insurance companies find themselves easy targets to payout. By tightening the requirements, they will protect themselves from liability, in turn, force best practices on our industry.” – Dan Shapero, president of TeamLogicIT
WFH Is Here to Stay—But Needs Better Security
“Next year, we will see companies finally realize (or admit) that hybrid and work from anywhere is a permanent fixture in their business. They’ll be receptive to security that doesn’t rely on network devices or VPNs but technology like zero trust, software defined perimeter (SDP), SDWAN, etc. will become even more competitive and bring the market price down to the SMB.” – Jonathan Blakey, vice president of technology at Technology Assurance Group
Cyber-Proficient MSPs Will Gain an Advantage
“Next year we will see security incident response continue to be a need across the IT channel. MSPs who take a serious look at the cyber threat landscape will not only re-evaluate their current security framework but will recognize the necessity to continue adding to this security framework. MSPs who can profitably bundle these additional security services will not only continue scaling, but most importantly maintain the integrity and security of their customer’s networks.” – Hannah O’Donnell, director of sales, Collabrance
Companies Standing Still Risk Closure, Consolidation
“In 2022, I think we’ll see more cyberattacks than ever before, and more companies than ever will either be closing or consolidating. Too many companies are increasing their ‘dialing for dollars’ (cold calling), thinking that will be a game changer for their sales. It’s really a waste of money. Also, companies that are intent on requiring three-year contracts with customers are going to see sales continue to decline. I would hope for a calmer world, but I do not see that happening anytime soon.” – Jay Tipton, CEO, Technology Specialists
Government Regulations Will Drive Compliance-as-a-Service Growth
“Next year, I predict that we will see hyper growth in the compliance vertical. In the past, compliance solutions were a really difficult sell. It was an arduous process that required a high level of expertise and was expensive to outsource. I’ve seen the compliance delivery market seriously mature in 2021 and there now are a myriad of ways that MSPs can easily offer compliance-as-a-service to their customers. With increasing government regulations being put into effect (think CMMC changes most recently), there are more opportunities than ever for MSPs to step into a void, deliver more value to their customers and increase their revenue streams.” – Shannon Mayer, director of customer marketing, Kaseya, and vice chair of CompTIA’s Managed Services Community
More Businesses Will Emphasize Customer Experience, Service
“Next year we will see a growing trend in customer experience-as-a-service and customer service-as-a-service (CXaaS and CSaaS). With technology companies realizing that it’s no longer a customer land grab, many businesses are realizing the true value of providing quality support. Delivering a premium level of customer service is essential with competition rising in the technology arena. The new gold is the customer and that is a trend that I am happy to see shaping up and becoming a more common strategic initiative for technology and solution provider companies.” – Juan Fernandez, co-chair, CompTIA Channel Development Advisory Council
Security Continues to Be Paramount Among Business Partners
“One thing to watch out for will be continued security issues affecting businesses. This will be a trend that will be a common one for the foreseeable future. The best way to protect your company is through education. The best solution that businesses can employ is awareness, implementing solid security practices, policies, procedures, and end user training to help end users become more aware and cognizant of the digital world will only help a modern business.” – Juan Fernandez, co-chair, CompTIA Channel Development Advisory Council
Global Tensions Will Impact Supply Chain Costs, Trade and More
“Geopolitical tensions between the western nations: Russia and especially China will continue to create uncertainty and instability in the tech market especially impacting hardware procurement. This will push prices for tech higher. Rapid price fluctuations, increased costs for shipping and trade disruption will be exacerbated by foreign-policy posturing and tit-for-tat sanctions.” – Ian Thornton Trump, CISO, Cyjax
E-Commerce Platforms, Marketplaces Continue Rapid Growth
“E-commerce and marketplaces will continue to grow in importance as end users and partners alike search for ways to work around the traditional sales and service paradigm. The pandemic is accelerating this trend as organizations scramble to procure and implement products and solutions to enable remote or hybrid workplaces. In a recent JS Group survey of channel professionals, 46% of respondents say they are now procuring products and solutions through an e-commerce platform or third-party marketplace when they did not do so 20 months ago, and Forrester reports that e-commerce marketplaces grew more in the first three months of COVID than during the prior 10 years combined. Marketplaces aren’t going anywhere, and partners and vendors both would do well to invest in e-commerce.” – Kris Blackmon, chief channel officer, JS Group
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