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A new report from Datacom has highlighted both a challenge and an opportunity for Australian MSPs: Their customers want to refocus their businesses to address current market challenges, but they often struggle to find the resources to chase the opportunity.

Datacom’s fourth Annual Cloud Report found that the overarching strategy for businesses is on growth right now. As the report notes, most businesses have decided that the best way to overcome difficult times is through customer acquisition and retention.

The report also found that a “cloud-first” approach to IT was the long-term goal of 50% of organisations. However, this is made challenging because less than half (46%) have a cloud security strategy in place. Furthermore, just one in five local businesses has enough budget to invest in IT security.

Essentially, what the report shows is that while there is an appetite to shift rapidly to the cloud to build more innovative and nimble organisations, organisations still need assistance with transformation strategy and execution.

The Challenge of Business Retooling

It’s not just in terms of security where organisations struggle to resource their ambitions, however. As the report notes, more than 45% of businesses have a focus on people and skills. This is in recognising the need to train and reskill in order to be able to tackle the cloud strategically.

“As a foundation for growth, organisations need a skilled and capable workforce and the ability to innovate to develop new products and services, so it is good to see a sustained focus on employees and innovation on the agenda for 2024,” the report notes.

With nearly 70% of IT jobs in shortage, actually achieving the skills objective is difficult, and this might be the motivating factor for another trend observed in the Datacom report: “Changes to the way teams are being organised is another notable shift, along with the implementation of more agile ways of working,” the report notes.

This is where MSPs can come in: by helping to cover those skills gaps and modernising the overall IT function to better align with a cloud-first, transformed approach to business. While customer budgets might be constrained in the short term – as evidenced by the lack of money for security spending – MSPs that can articulate the value of their offering will find substantial opportunities. This supports Forrester’s findings from September, which highlighted the big opportunities that Australian MSPs have in building competencies in the cloud.

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