The world of IT services lends itself well to a large diversity of business models. Value-added resellers (VARs) may combine multiple products or services such as hardware, software or support and resell them in one simplified bundled solution. Managed service providers (MSPs) offer ongoing technology services on top of a product or service such as managing software licenses, hardware support, server installation, remote user set-up and on-site support. IT service providers consult with clients to solve business problems through technologies such as cloud migration strategies, cloud configuration and data backup strategies.
What’s common among the many types of IT service offerings is that they often partner with third-party organizations and sell their services, products and technologies. Channel partners are uniquely positioned because they offer access to cutting-edge technology and can leverage expertise to better meet the needs of discerning and often overwhelmed business customers.
Cybersecurity solutions are becoming a necessity for any channel partner that has its future growth in mind. The cybersecurity industry continues to grow at an explosive rate, with businesses across industries needing assurance that their IT systems, infrastructure, apps and data are secure. This article elaborates on why channel partners should explore offering cybersecurity solutions and which areas of cybersecurity are worth considering.
Here are three exciting benefits of partnering with cybersecurity vendors and solutions to enhance your IT service offerings.
1. Predictable Monthly Recurring Revenue
Many IT service providers are still dependent on break/fix methods of providing their services to businesses. These fee-based services only become revenue sources on an as-needed basis. Often, this is when a problem arises (something breaks that needs to be fixed).
Increasingly, businesses in the IT services sector want to adopt more stable sources of monthly recurring revenue (MRR). Cybersecurity is an excellent source of scalable recurring revenue streams because businesses usually need their solutions to work for them at all times, not just when something breaks. For example, a solution that only monitors an environment for threats after a cyberattack wouldn’t be very useful; this kind of service needs to always be on. You can start to build more stable and predictable revenue flows by bolstering your service offering with cybersecurity.
2. Improve Customer Retention
The IT services sector is not immune from the challenges of retaining customers. IT services aren’t quite as sticky as, say, insurance, so lower prices from competitors can entice existing clients. While the retention rate in IT is close to the average across all sectors, challenges with customer retention become more pronounced in an economy marked by high levels of inflation.
The beauty of an effective cybersecurity service or solution is that it’s incredibly sticky. In other words, because companies value cybersecurity so much, if you partner with a vendor that strengthens their cybersecurity posture, clients are far less likely to leave. Even if a competitor attempts to undercut your prices, the temptation for clients to abandon what’s working for them is far lower when cybersecurity is part of your offering.
3. Accelerate Business Growth
Companies providing cybersecurity services strengthen and grow through accelerated customer acquisition. The simple truth is that every business in every industry needs to pay attention to cybersecurity and source solutions and services that work for them. When prospective clients initiate a search for any related IT service other than cybersecurity, they’ll likely choose the business that stacks security services alongside what they’re looking for.
Developing a cybersecurity offering through channel partnerships provides a veritable pipeline for new customer acquisition. You could build out cybersecurity services fully in-house, but the resources required make that a less practical option than leveraging trusted partnerships with reputable vendors and security service providers. And because cybersecurity demand is unlikely to slow down in the medium to long term, this is a long-term path that future-proofs your business and ensures a steady flow of new customers and revenue.
The first truth anyone learns about cybersecurity is that it’s complicated. A plethora of solutions and services address different pain points, from detecting and responding to threats on your network to effectively training employees in security best practices.
Before diving into the more esoteric areas of cybersecurity, it’s critical to address the fundamentals. Here are some areas you should consider first when determining whom to partner with in the cybersecurity space.
A huge struggle for many businesses is monitoring their environments 24/7, identifying threats and proactively thwarting attacks. Holistic monitoring solutions like managed detection and response (MDR) can provide clients with the rapid remediation capabilities they often lack in a world where relentless cyber threats pummel networks throughout the day and night.
Solutions like MDR accelerate detection and response, reduce alert fatigue and effectively remediate threats. Position such services as providing fast and smart resolutions to pressing cybersecurity problems, and you won’t struggle to get clients on board. Just make sure that the organization you partner with actually has the expertise to combat advanced threats and the resources to monitor environments 24/7.
Ability to safeguard endpoints
Despite the sophisticated technical knowledge required to hack networks, employee errors are the root cause behind 88% of data breaches. And with remote work having skyrocketed at the onset of COVID, the threat landscape has grown exponentially – making it even harder to protect against an onslaught of daily threats.
Remote monitoring and endpoint management solutions let you monitor all endpoints and automate software updates on those devices. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions give powerful capabilities in monitoring end-user devices for different cyber threats, responding efficiently to genuine incidents and containing attacks by isolating the endpoints on which they occur. Make sure the partner you work with has access to best-in-breed EDR solutions, as one size doesn’t fit all.
Vulnerability and gateway management
In cybersecurity, the best defense is a solid offense, and that means having clear visibility into your environment, determining where your vulnerabilities are and limiting bad actors’ ability to exploit those vulnerabilities.
A vulnerability management solution can offer regularly scheduled or adhoc scans and scored reports that provide your clients with insight and guidance to help effectively remediate any threats. Many like to pair this with a managed gateway service that offers timely hardware upgrades, software patches, and configuration and policy changes. This helps minimize exposure, while regular policy and procedure reviews ensure the business is ready for any bad actor threat.
As an IT service provider, offering cybersecurity solutions is a valuable step in cultivating business growth, increased revenue and improved satisfaction among clients. Some closing recommendations:
The Nuspire Partner Program helps partners position themselves as trusted cybersecurity advisors, with the ability and know-how to recommend the most effective cybersecurity solutions for their clients.
Nuspire partners are able to address top security challenges and deliver industry-leading, multi-vendor solutions such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), managed detection and response (MDR), managed security services (MSS) and access to industry-leading expertise.
We can help you establish a partner strategy that aligns to your business goals—and your client’s objectives. Grow your business through our collaborative sales engagement, dedicated training, co-marketing support and resources, as well as access to the revolutionary myNuspire platform.