Digital Transformation: Five major trends for MSPs in the coming year

Whether it’s outsourcing, cloud services, IoT, or hyper-converged infrastructures, 2023 promises to continue to see several trends that are disrupting the managed services sector.

This is according to managed services provider Espria. Clients continue to look to their IT managed services providers (MSPs) to help them make the most productive use of technology. This in turn, is designed to take advantage of innovations that fit their business.

What are the five trends facing MSPs in 2023?

MSPs are hired for their expertise with technology and to help their clients stay in business and ahead of their competitors – through agility and improvisation. At its core, this means MSPs must continue to make changes in their processes, technological infrastructure, and their management practices in turn. Espria sees five core trends facing MSPs in 2023:

Continued outsourcing

Businesses have concluded that internal IT teams’ cost. The growing number of disruptions in the IT industry are expensive to keep on top of and yet, on the other hand, most SMBs can’t afford to match the in-house support that larger companies have. The result – outsourcing.

The cloud

Firms have been moving to the cloud for years, often limiting their use of cloud technology to certain workloads. Cloud adoption took a big step forward when the pandemic prompted many firms to empower their employees to work from anywhere, and it continues to grow.

For many, cloud-based, widely used business apps proved that cloud tech can be extremely reliable, scalable, and secure. The opportunity therefore for MSPs in the cloud space remains strong. Firms need a strategy that enables them to prioritise their concerns and plan the results they want to realise from their cloud migration. MSPs can make a huge contribution by helping them enact cloud strategies with measurable goals and in a low-risk manner.

Enhanced security

The overwhelming majority of firms are now using sensitive data in the cloud. It’s thus crucial for businesses to secure their IT infrastructure. The foremost requirement is to identify all the at-risk touchpoints and provide solutions to secure them. But limited IT budgets, a lack of expertise, and a shortage of resources make it impossible for organisations to do all this.

For those MSPs with expertise in data security this provides a demonstrable opportunity to help secure their clients’ IT infrastructure as well as provide 24×7 monitoring. Combined with an increased risk of cyberattacks, and more enterprises will turn to MSPs to leverage skills.

Platform and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (PaaS/IaaS)

This is one of the biggest opportunities for service providers in 2023 offering the chance to host the services and infrastructure that are usually present in an on-premises data centre.

This includes elements such as hardware, software, storage, servers and networking components, along with the virtualisation layer and ready-made services such as database platforms, to help global businesses scale quickly. This is a hugely attractive model as PaaS and IaaS also enable global organisations to cut costs, reduce the time spent managing in-house infrastructure and services, and improve service levels for their end users.

In addition, this model eliminates wait times for hardware, other components, or on-site support and the subscription-based billing model of IaaS offers many advantages to customers in terms of scalability, cost, and security, often making Enterprise-grade services available to organisations for whom they may previously have been out of reach.


The IT industry is being transformed by automation, as it helps global organisations reduce repetitive tasks, like data migration from one system to another. It not only reduces human error and resolution times but saves resources for more critical tasks. MSPs with expertise in automation can offer huge benefits to business functions across enterprises (like Human Resource, finance, travel and marketing) and maximise businesses’ profitability.

Finding a trusted external tech partner which can fill firms’ skills and expertise gaps is essential at a time of economic downturn. For businesses looking for that MSP partner cost alone should not dictate your decision. They need to act as your business partner, help assess your risk exposure, develop security policies, choose and deploy security solutions, ensure compliance with regulatory mandates for data protection, and develop skills with your teams.

As we enter a period of economic uncertainty, all businesses across the globe need to control and contain cost. MSPs in turn need to be adaptive and evolve as the technology has, offer clients in turn the most comprehensive offering possible, and bring real value-add.

Dave Adamson is the Chief Technology Officer at Espria.