MSPs Are Central to Small Business Plans for 2022, Survey Finds

Amid the continued Covid-19 pandemic, MSPs remain critically important to small businesses, according to recent survey results from JumpCloud.

The Q4 Biannual 2021 State of the SME IT Admin Report explored small business IT budget priorities, IT administrator perceptions of MSPs, security concerns and the overall mood of IT admins in the small business sector.

Some of the more interesting takeaways from the survey include:

1. Small Business IT Budget and Priorities

  • Security priorities are geared toward ongoing remote-hybrid work: The top three security priorities are adding layered security for truly secure remote work, making remote work easier for end users, and making remote work easier for admins.
  • Employees are getting better at following best security practices: In May, 74% said remote work makes it harder for employees to follow good security practices (50% agree; 24% strongly agree). Now, only 59% agree (44.3% agree; 14.2% strongly agree).
  • Managing remote workers remains the biggest challenge: Managing remote workers is the biggest challenge IT admins faced over the past year, now at 57%, up from 53% in May, and more employees are now working remote (32% now vs. 23% in May).

2. Small Business Security Concerns

  • Fewer IT admins think they’re wasting money on remote work: 30% report their organization is spending too much to enable remote work, down from 56% in May.
  • Top security concerns have evolved: The top three concerns are software security exploits (37%, a 2% decrease since May), ransomware (35%, a 7% increase since May), and use of unsecured networks (33%, a 4% decrease since May). In May, IT admins’ top three concerns were software vulnerabilities (39%), employees using the same username and password across apps (37%), and using an unsecured network (36%).

3. Small Business Dependence on MSPs (Managed Service Providers)

  • IT admins continue to see MSPs as vital partners: Now 87% of respondents said they have already or plan to engage an MSP (up from 84% in May).
  • MSPs are central to operations: 77% report that using an MSP has resulted in better security and 57% report an increase in a better employee experience.
  • MSPs seen to offer a wide range of benefits: Respondents report using MSPs because they are up to date on the latest technologies (63%), they can provide a better user experience (60%), they are cost-effective (54%), they can secure users’ access and identity better (47%), and they offer strong customer support (32%).

4. The Life of the IT Admin

  • Compensation may not be scaling with increased stress and responsibilities: Since the start of the pandemic, 43% report their salaries have stayed the same, and 37% report seeing an increase. For those that saw an increase, most (15%) received a raise of only 5% or less. 24% reported a salary increase of more than 5%, compared to 30% in May.
  • Fewer are overwhelmed: 55% report feeling overwhelmed in terms of job expectations and responsibilities, compared to 66% reporting so in May.
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