Cybersecurity and Integration are Top IT Priorities

Cybersecurity and application and services integration are the top IT priorities, according to Kaseya’s 2022 IT Operations Survey.

The annual survey, which saw a record-high number of respondents this year, outlines global IT professionals’ top actions, goals and challenges for the coming year.

Kaseya is an ITSM vendor and a supplier to managed service providers (MSPs) so any trends the company spots are potential opportunities for MSPs and channel partners.

Security Looms Large

After more than a year of high-profile security attacks – including one on Kaseya itself – cybersecurity is understandably a big preoccupation of IT execs.

Better cybersecurity emerged as IT executives’ biggest goal for 2023. More than half of the survey’s respondents, including 54% of those in the Americas, cited improving IT security as their top priority, and 53% expect IT security staffing to increase this year.

Increasing IT productivity through automation came in second at 33%. Migrating to the cloud fell close behind at 32%, with the related goal of reducing IT costs coming at 31%. While more IT pros cite automation as a top priority, budgets seem to be favoring cloud migration, with 45% of executives expecting their cloud spending to rise.

Another key trend among IT executives is moving away from silos in favor of integrated apps and services. 54% of respondents said integration is important, up from 48% in 2021’s survey. Integrating IT documentation access across apps seems particularly crucial, with nearly 60% of IT professionals calling it the most critical integration.

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Cloud Seen as More Secure

Cybersecurity, of course, remains a top challenge for IT professionals today. Almost half of all respondents cited it as their leading concern, with American businesses calling it a challenge more than others.

According to a separate study by Box.com, 72% of organizations today view the cloud as more secure than what they can provide on-premises. This sentiment, along with the growing awareness around cybersecurity issues, could explain why more companies are devoting higher budgets to cloud migration.

Budgetary constraints are another leading concern, with 29% of respondents citing it as a top challenge. While most also expect budgets to rise, it’s unclear if these increases will match what they believe they need for growing demand. More than a fifth also stated how legacy systems hampered their growth and innovation. 

The Message for Service Providers

These goals and concerns have significant implications for managed service providers. If you hope to continually meet clients’ needs, you’ll have to adapt to these trends. As this survey highlights, one of the most important considerations today is security.

More than half of all businesses have suffered a third-party data breach, according to Ponemon, with these incidents costing $370,000 more than others on average. Consequently, as more IT departments seek to improve their security, they’ll favor vendors that can ensure their data is safe. On the other hand, if you fail to meet high cybersecurity standards, you may struggle to grow in the coming years.

Service providers should also pay attention to the growing emphasis on integration. IT teams today need to increase their productivity in light of rising demand and obstacles ranging from budgets to legacy systems. Many see integration as a key part of achieving this efficiency, so third-party integrations could become a key selling point.

IT executives’ budgetary concerns may also influence the MSP market. While IT budgets will likely rise, these professionals may still hesitate to spend high premiums on software and services. Budget-friendly models or a strong demonstration of worth may be important as IT departments face monetary restrictions.

The need for security and integration aren’t necessarily new, but they’re becoming increasingly urgent. If you can help IT departments meet these goals, you could see impressive growth in the near future, but failure to meet them could hinder your success.

Technology moves quickly, especially at businesses’ current rate of digital transformation. Excelling as an MSP in this environment means understanding how the industry is shifting and adapting to meet these changing needs. It all starts with learning what IT professionals want and what they struggle with – and helping to solve those struggles.

Read next: Remember to Promote Your Value Proposition

Devin Partida
Devin Partida
Devin Partida is a technology and cybersecurity writer whose work has been featured on Entrepreneur, AOL, AT&T's cybersecurity blog and Yahoo! Finance. She is also the Editor-in-Chief of the tech website ReHack.com.

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