I was talking with an MSP when the question of whether reactive IT providers would be around in 5 years. While I don’t want to be too dramatic, this is a good question all MSPs should contemplate, especially those providers who generate any revenue from break/fix or reactive IT solutions.
The topic that started the conversation was regulation and whether existing and future laws would likely force reactive MSPs out of business. I think there is a lot of merit to this idea, especially when it comes to security and privacy. Regulation does have the potential to “force” compliance in a particular way. Given what we are seeing, reactive IT processes will not be acceptable for much longer. How long? Who knows?
Security & Privacy
Another significant area pushing reactive IT companies into the proactive light are concerns around security and privacy of data. When you think about it logically, almost no laws being passed today argues for more reactive IT services. Put differently, complying with the vast majority of regulations and standards being promoted today would be difficult if you were a break/fix IT shop.
I do not like saying a particular business will be extinct, but there are plenty of examples throughout history. Switchboard operators used to number in the tens of thousands before digital circuitry put them all out of a job. The same is true for horse and buggy dealerships when automobiles became available.
We have had over twenty years of managed services, and the world finally understands the beneficial role MSPs can play. The remaining question is, what role does the reactive IT company play today? If there is a role, how long will it last?