PREDICTIONS FOR 2019: CYBERSECURITY, SPECIALISATION AND PITCHING VALUE
With cyber security, industry consolidation and channel uncertainty continuing to linger on, what does 2019 have in store for the managed service providers (MSPs) and solution providers in the Middle East and North Africa?
It was no surprise that cyber security, industry consolidation and channel uncertainty continued to be hot topics for the Middle East and North Africa IT channel in 2018. Looking to 2019, I don’t expect much to change in this regard. But, how channel partners adapt to and address these challenges could make all the difference when it comes to driving success across the region.
There is no doubt that this year, channel partners will need to identify new ways to work smarter and faster to meet the needs of their customers, along with the demands of what is becoming a very dynamic and crowded marketplace. While no one knows exactly how trends will manifest themselves, here are some predictions for channel partners in MENA in 2019:
Email security will continue to dominate the threat landscape. Attacks that target the individual–such as phishing, spear phishing and business email compromise–are increasing. Today, the MENA market is seeing a growing number of hackers turning to social engineering techniques to increase their success.
Consequently, cyber security education will
be key to mitigating threats and vulnerabilities. While email security is expected to remain a top priority in 2019, the ability to spot dangerous websites, knowing how to leverage VPNs when protecting personal and company data while using open networks, knowing how to protect against vulnerabilities related to BYOD, the proper use of anti-malware and antivirus solutions and general security awareness are also very important to overall cyber security health. To help customers achieve the best overall cyber security posture, managed service providers (MSPs) and solution providers will need to identify ways to better educate customers on these types of exploits.
Differentiation will happen through vertical focus. By specialising in a niche vertical such as healthcare, retail, legal services, government, or education, MSPs and solution providers can further differentiate themselves from the competition this year.
In fact, pricing on value will lead to greater success in overcoming objections. One of the most common challenges facing solution providers today is convincing their SMB
customers and prospects to stop dragging their feet when it comes to moving beyond breakfix services and start considering a managed service offering. Common objections include the price of managed services and a lack of understanding or awareness of how it can help the customer’s business. One of the best ways MSPs and solution providers can overcome objections voiced by their SMB customers and prospects is to change the conversation by focusing on value rather than price. It is common knowledge that SMBs will want to spend as little as possible on their IT services. This, however, can leave them open to security vulnerabilities or risk for data loss. MSPs and solution providers should educate their customers on the advantages to moving to managed services.
That said, it is a very exciting time to be in and around the IT channel especially in MENA, and the future holds great promise for MSPs and solution providers. For those partners who take note of and, most importantly, act on these emerging trends will be well on their way to achieving success in 2019 and beyond.