Hyperautomation Could Dramatically Boost MSSP Profitability

Hyperautomation could greatly improve the profitability of managed security services, a Gartner analyst said at the Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit earlier this month.

Analyst Mark Wah noted that the managed detection and response (MDR) market grew by nearly 50% from 2020 to 2021, significantly faster than the 9.8% average for managed security services in general.

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) and managed service providers (MSPs) are always looking to improve margins, so Wah’s data on MDR hyperautomation should attract notice.

Advanced automation in the MDR space could increase the analyst-to-user ratio by a factor of as much 20 and massively boost MDR services profitability, Wah told Gartner attendees (see slides below).

Also read: Best Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Services

Hyperautomation Spending Soars

By the end of 2022, Gartner predicts worldwide hyperautomation spending will approach $600 billion—12% year-over-year growth. According to Cathy Tornbohm, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, “The shift toward hyperautomation will be a key factor enabling enterprises to achieve.”

In fact, in an increasingly uncertain economy, hyperautomation may be a key factor in enabling enterprises to survive. For MSSPs, this dramatic and quickening shift toward hyperautomation presents both challenges and opportunities.

Hyperautomation is a business-driven approach incorporating robotic process automation, machine learning, and other next-gen AI technologies to automate business processes previously requiring human intervention. Hyperautomation is closely linked to business process management, low-code/no-code development tools, and integration platform as a service (iPaaS).

Also read: Why Channel Partners Need Automation from IT Vendors

MSSPs and MSPs Will See Clients Move Toward Hyperautomation

By 2024, Gartner predicts that organizations will have lowered their operational costs by 30% by adopting hyperautomation. But organizations also need to spend money to make money—they will have to invest in new hyperautomation technologies and an infrastructure that can support them.

David Groombridge, Distinguished VP Analyst at Gartner, notes, “Organizations have a tremendous amount of collective debt. The cause is an extensive and expensive set of business processes underpinned by a patchwork of technologies that are often not optimized, lean, connected, consistent, or explicit.”

Most enterprises grow their technology stacks organically, adding cloud solutions and systems as needed—and, frequently, leaving still-connected legacy applications in their wake.  To address this technological debt, organizations must rework their infrastructures. But this doesn’t happen overnight.

Artificial intelligence excels at optimization and automation, analyzing large volumes of data and contextual criteria to produce best-case scenarios. Hyperautomation will make it easier for these enterprises to streamline and optimize their infrastructure, removing overlaps and addressing gaps.

As for MSPs and MSSPs, they will need to engage organizations where they stand—with a growing interest in robotic process automation, automation, and AI. To move from RPA to true hyperautomation—and from unwieldy tech stacks to a more sophisticated, modernized infrastructure—companies must define their automation strategies, identify (and integrate) DigitalOps tools, and rewrite their business processes to incorporate AI.

Also read: How Can the Channel Use AI and ML?

Security Concerns Remain High

As organizations automate their business processes, they are also turning the AI lens toward security. Gartner cites seven major security trends for businesses in 2022, including continued attack surface expansion, identity threat detection and response (ITR), cybersecurity mesh architecture, and distributed decision-making.

In many respects, hyperautomation and AI-driven security packages may be the only solution for this ever-growing lattice of integrated multi-cloud solutions, third-party APIs, and IoT devices. As systems continually become more complex, it becomes cost-ineffective for people to manage them.

Through artificial intelligence and automation, organizations won’t just shore up their business processes—they will also eliminate many traditional security gaps. Hyperautomation leverages AI to move beyond simply automating security checks and balances and into incorporating real decision-making processes into a machine learning architecture. And it will all happen in the blink of an eye.

See the best EDR tools for MSPs looking to add security services

Building the MSSP of the Future

Since 2004, the global security market has increased from a paltry $3.5 billion to $1.75 trillion. Hyperautomation may see similarly dramatic growth, as an inevitability in both the realm of cybersecurity and business process management.

Incorporating hyperautomation strategies and philosophies is a matter of procuring the right talent and engaging in cultural change. Critically, this is something any MSSP of any size can realistically obtain. A move toward hyperautomation is further a move toward future-proofing.
MSSPs don’t need to start developing hyperautomation protocols from scratch, but instead, need to educate themselves on the next-gen DigitalOps tools. From Zendesk’s AI chatbots to Alteryx’s business intelligent suite, hyperautomation is already being baked into next-gen SaaS solutions. By promoting hyperautomation technologies, MSSPs don’t just improve their client’s technology stacks—they make their jobs easier.

Scale Your MSSP with Hyperautomation

As an MSSP, what does hyperautomation mean for you? How can you functionally improve your business and grow your customer base with hyperautomation?

  • Connect with vendors who provide hyperautomation solutions. Channel partners delving into hyperautomation solutions will provide next-gen, advanced products to your customers.
  • Leverage automation internally. Find hyperautomation solutions to help your organization manage things like systems monitoring and the management of IoT devices.
  • Invest in the right talent. Train your employees on hyperautomation processes and technologies and hire those who are hyperautomation savvy.
  • Communicate with your customers. Talk to customers about the advantages of hyperautomation and explore their evolving needs.
  • Develop processes for digital transformation. Create a workflow for digital transformation and hyperautomation.

Also read: 9 Tips to Help MSPs and MSSPs Scale Successfully

Hyperautomation Projects for MSSPs

Wah told Gartner security conference attendees to look for hyperautomation projects that have high feasibility and business value (see graphic below). Some possibilities he identified include:

  • Transaction fraud detection
  • File-based malware detection
  • Process behavior analysis
  • Abnormal system behavior detection
  • Web domain and reputation assessment
  • Asset inventory and dependency mapping optimization
  • Account takeover identification

Hyperautomation is still a growing field. Only leaders and visionaries in the Gartner Magic Quadrant have truly adopted hyperautomation. Yet, it’s likely that the pace of hyperautomation adoption will increase faster than managed service providers expect. Not only is the foundation already in place for widescale automation, but economic and security concerns are providing external environmental pressures.

Read next: Top MSSP Tools and Cybersecurity Vendors

Jenna Inouye
Jenna Inouye
Full-stack developer and technology writer with bylines in Tech Republic, eSecurity Planet, Hackr.io, Udemy, and SVG. Technology writer at First Page Sage, a leading SEO firm.

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