2021 is nearly at its end, and for many it has involved recovery and growth from a difficult 2020! As COVID-19 continues to impact supply chains and worldwide business, and as IT leaders look ahead to see how they can boost their organizational growth in 2022 – we wanted to put a list together of the top challenges and opportunities that you can look out for in order to remain at the top of your game.

The rolling impact of COVID

According to the SWZD State of IT Report, “in 2022, roughly 40% of IT departments expect to deal with the following: limited product availability, shipping delays or logistical problems, supply chain issues, increases in product costs, and chip shortages.” Across the board, North America expects to have more challenges with these tasks than Europe, especially when considering chip shortages and supply chain disruption.

The global chip shortage could affect your ability to get hold of a lot of different types of hardware, from computers and servers, to mobile phones – so it’s important to stay up to date with how it’s affecting your regular suppliers, and speak to business stakeholders and clients about potential delays.

Of course, you may also have the continued challenge of remote working, especially if you have clients in emerging economies where the COVID vaccine has a slower rollout, or where cases are still rising. It’s important to have a robust work from home procedure to roll out that considers communication, security, compliance, and speed. Think about including added endpoint protection, virtual private networks and web protection and filtering for home networks. Remember that people behave differently on home networks than they do at work, and may need reminding of secure best practices as simple as changing the default router password, or not clicking on unsafe links.

The great resignation

About 40% of tech staff have either already left their jobs, or plan to leave by 2022. This comes off the back of more than a year of hunkering down and staying in place in fear of uncertainty or in need of stability. Now, as lockdown rules lift, and a sense of “now or never” hits employees, many are ready for a change. Interestingly, this Great Resignation seems to be hitting the tech industry, including IT and computing staff, in a much bigger way than it is impacting other areas of industry and business.

For MSPs and internal IT staff, this is both a challenge and an opportunity. It’s important to create a solid workplace culture and listen to your employees about what they need to avoid employee churn. Top on the list? Competitive salaries and the flexibility to work from home. However, other companies’ losses could be your gain. If you’re looking to upskill your staff with certain areas of expertise, there have never been more people who are willing to have their heads turned.

Embrace the cloud

One area which is continuing to grow and has never been more relevant is cloud computing skills. The majority of companies will soon be working in a multi-cloud environment, and they will turn to managed service providers and corporate IT teams to manage the complexity that this creates. Cloud skills are at a shortage, and outsourcing management, monitoring and improvements to a third-party will become more popular than ever before. Skills to look for to meet these gaps include:

Cloud security: The traditional perimeter is well and truly dead, and companies need help understanding the east-west movement of traffic and how to protect a complex landscape with third-party applications and risk.

Compliance: Especially if you work in niche industries like healthcare or finance, onboarding or upskilling for cloud compliance is a definite money-maker. One focus is on how your clients will get visibility across a hybrid or multi-cloud environment.

FinOps: Many companies move to the cloud to save money, but can get caught up with Reserved Instances they don’t need, or the converse – buying On Demand when they get unstuck. Quickly, cloud costs can spiral. Becoming a trusted FinOps advisor can be a gentle pivot that helps you provide greater value.

Remote work solutions: The cloud is a great fit to support work from home realities, which explains it’s supercharged growth over the past two years. Think about solutions such as Azure Virtual Desktop, Citrix Remote Desktop solutions, or Amazon Workspaces which you can deploy in client or staff environments quickly and easily.

Security services

If you’re not offering security services for your MSP clients yet, 2022 is the year to make that change. The risks of a data breach are huge, in areas as disparate as downtime, client trust, compliance, financial toll and more. Many MSPs believe that if they aren’t offering security tools, their clients are going to look elsewhere.

It could be helpful in 2022 to build up your portfolio of security offerings, so that your clients feel that you have a wide range of solutions at the ready, and you can create competitive pricing packages around that. You could have some must-haves such as 2FA, a Web Application Firewall, or DNS filtering that come included with your service, and then offer clients extra solutions such as a certain tier of Antivirus, email security, or even in-person security awareness training for their staff.

Ready for 2022? It’s time to get started!

Don’t wait until December 29th before you start talking to clients and internal departments about the changes you want to implement to their environments. By then, budgets are often set in stone and many people are firmly in holiday-mode. Instead, make a smart plan for where you want to be as 2023 comes into view, and lay out a vision for each environment you manage as to how you want to make it into a reality.

Atera comes with so many must-haves included in the price, it makes it so easy to pass on the benefits to your own clients! Check out our 30-day free trial to give them all a whirl.

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