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State of IT Operations for SMBs: Where MSPs Can Profit


Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) continue to consume more and more cloud services, but their cybersecurity concerns also continue to rise, according to Kaseya's 2018 State of IT Operations for SMBs report.

The survey, based on input from nearly 1,300 global respondents, revealed a number of emerging trends -- and potential market gaps that MSPs can fill for SMB customers.

According to the survey,

  • 54 percent of SMBs cite security as their main concern in 2018, which is up 14 percent from 2017. When these SMBs think ahead to 2019, that number increases again to almost 60 percent.
  • The report also found that one in three SMBs have already experienced a security breach in the last five years; and over one in 10 within the last 12 months.

SMB Disaster Recovery: Gaps and MSPs Opportunities

Moreover, many SMBs also focus heavily on disaster recovery solutions and backups. Indeed, 90 percent of SMBs use backup servers and another 69 percent back them up both locally and onsite. But only 40 percent run automated disaster recovery and have a formal, management-approved business continuity and disaster recovery plan in place.

That appears to be a market opportunity for MSPs, considering 86 percent of survey participants experienced at least one IT network outage lasting longer than five minutes over the past year, and 45 percent reported having two to four outages lasting longer than five minutes.

As SMBs layer their backup and disaster recovery strategy, many rely on up to four backup and recovery technologies; we're curious to see if that figure consolidates in the years ahead.

Other survey findings include:

  • Increased SaaS Adoption: Most SMBs rely on Microsoft Office 365 (72% adoption) rather than Google G Suite (17% adoption) for their SaaS productivity applications. The survey also found that many businesses use Dropbox and Salesforce, as well as other SaaS-based tools to conduct their day to day business tasks.
  • Compliance is Important to Consider: PCI and HIPAA/HITECH are the most common compliance requirements for respondents, comprising 64 percent. Although the deadline for GDPR compliance has passed, the survey showed that only 11 percent of companies actually adhered to the mandate at the time of the survey commissioning.
  • Endpoint Auditing Remains Strong: Eighty-four percent of SMBs audit endpoints as part of their asset management processes. Of those, 68 percent track operating system information, 64 percent track installed software, and almost half track software licensing data (48 percent).
  • Overall IT Strength Development: When asked to rate effectiveness in optimizing IT efficiency, the following technologies and strategies were the most common areas of expertise: centralized antivirus/anti-malware scanning (77 percent), data storage and backup (75 percent), server monitoring (68 percent), centralized patch management (63 percent), and remote device access/control (61 percent).

As more SMBs find their way to the cloud, security will continue to remain a huge concern. Threats will continue to evolve and find new ways to infiltrate even the most robust digital strongholds. IT Operations need to be constantly aware of these changes and develop solutions to combat them. This will mean continuing to make security and disaster recovery a priority, and monitoring endpoints for vulnerabilities. The survey from Kaseya shows that most SMB IT Operations feel the same way.