One of the consistent themes that has emerged during the COVID-19 pandemic as it pertains to IT is that, rather than witnessing massive shifts in how IT is employed, there’s simply been an acceleration of adoption. Everything from videoconferencing to digital business transformation initiatives existed before last spring. The pandemic simply accelerated IT trends that otherwise would have taken several more years to have the same level of impact.

For example, a report published by Okta notes that Microsoft 365, Salesforce, and Google Workspace, are among the most widely employed apps among the 9,400 customers analyzed by the provider of an identity-as-a-service platform. Interestingly, the number of organizations running both Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace now stands at 36 percent.

The same report, notes there has been major spikes in adoption of not just Zoom, but also Amazon Business, Smartsheet, Lucidchart, Miro, Figma, Culture-Amp, Lattice, and Monday.com. None of these applications appeared out of thin air.

Convergence of IT trends and processes

A global survey of 600 IT leaders published this week by LogicMonitor, a provider of an observability platform for IT environments, notes 93 percent of respondents have seen some level of convergence between traditional IT operations and administration teams and development teams in the last 12 months. A full 94 percent of respondents attributed the acceleration to the pandemic.

Meanwhile, a survey of 393 security operations professionals published this week by Siemplify, a security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) platform provider, finds more than half (52 percent) of respondents said they increased their reliance on managed security service providers (MSSPs) in the last year. That report comes on the heels of a survey of 500 U.S. IT decision-makers published by Syntax, a provider of managed services, that finds 83 percent of IT leaders that already have in-house security teams are now considering outsourcing their security efforts to an MSP in 2021. Outsourcing security is, of course, not a new idea. It’s just arguably an idea whose time has really come.

Put it altogether and we are all collectively amid one of the greatest upheavals in the history of IT. Every organization on the planet is reevaluating their IT strategy in the wake of the pandemic and the acceleration of these IT trends. Managed service providers (MSPs) need to find a way to make sure they are not just participating in those discussions but instead leading them. Rather than waiting on that next outreach from a customer, MSPs need to invite customers to a meeting about the future of IT. Chances are good the customer is already planning on having that meeting. It’s really just a question of whether an MSP will be invited.

Whether MSPs participate or not, IT as we once knew it is changing before our eyes. The only thing that remains to be seen if MSPs are going to be driving that change versus waiting for it to become something that happens to them.

Photo: geiger27 / Shutterstock

Posted by Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard has covered IT for more than 25 years, and has edited or contributed to a number of tech publications including InfoWorld, eWeek, CRN, Baseline, ComputerWorld, TMCNet, and Digital Review. He currently blogs for IT Business Edge and contributes to CIOinsight, The Channel Insider, Programmableweb and Slashdot. Mike blogs about emerging cloud technology for Smarter MSP.

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