COVID-19 Industry Response Survey: Week Four Results

by Rick Yates, on April 21, 2020

Thank you to everyone who took part in the fourth week of our COVID-19 response survey. We now have a month of MSP data to look back on, so let's jump straight into it and see how things have changed.

For a detailed look into how these results compare to the previous weeks, watch the video above.







Here are the results for the week commencing 13/04/2020:

1. How busy has your business been this week compared to last week?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 08.30.52

A lot busier than last week: 6%
Slightly busier than last week: 9%
About as busy as last week: 29%
Slightly quieter than last week: 32%
A lot quieter than last week: 24%

In a small victory this week, it's looking like the industry has seen the worst of the crisis and is now on a slow uptick (touch wood). MSPs have experienced more business this week than last week and no matter how small the numbers are, IT providers are moving out of the negative categories.

2. Have any of your customers cancelled or paused their service with you?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 08.40.58

Yes: 35%
No: 65%

Another positive result! After a small increase last week, the number of MSPs that have had customers cancel or pause their services has gone down 12%.

3. Have your customers requested services additional to their regular packages THIS WEEK compared to LAST WEEK? (i.e. if they requested additional Remote Working setup last week but nothing additional this week, the answer will be no)

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 08.45.44

Yes: 22%
No: 78%

As clients get used to their new home setups, it's not shocking that things are returning to business as usual.

4. If your customers are in need of any additional services, what are they?


Once again, the majority of responses to this question mentioned remote working support and VPN access.

For remote working software, we recommend TeamViewer.

For an MSP friendly VPN, we recommend Perimeter 81.

5. What have your customers mostly needed from you this week?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 08.50.53

Setting up remote working: 18%
Data security/backup/recovery: 3%
Access to hardware: 2%
Business as usual/service desk: 76%
Other (please specify): 1%

Following the trend of previous weeks, setting up remote working has gone down while business as usual has grown.

6. What technical services do you think your customers are going to need as the isolation period continues that they may not be aware of yet? Please select top 3

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 08.59.26

Staff monitoring software - activity/key loggers: 31%
More suitable remote connect/VPN facilities: 57%
Moving data backups off physical sites and into cloud: 30%
Recovering data on a live basis remotely: 9%
Enhanced service desk packages: 22%
Proactive guidance and recommendations on IT strategy: 65%
Other (please specify): 9%

Numbers this week are similar to the previous week, with the only significant difference being an interest in data backup and recovery.

For this, we recommend
Redstor. Their MSP offering allows full data management from a single pane of glass and provides live streaming of data being recovered from archive. 

7. Has it been necessary for you to place any staff on furlough?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 09.05.19

Yes: 41%
No: 59%

The number of staff being put on furlough has once again gone up this week. However, a 3% increase indicates a much more positive outlook than the 10% increase last week.

8. If no, do you expect to place staff on furlough next week?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 09.10.14

Yes: 23%
No: 63%
Possibly, not sure yet: 14%

MSPs are now being forced to make difficult decisions. A number of the unsure votes last week have moved into 'Yes', while 'No' has also increased. As time passes, more IT providers can see with certainty what they need to do to stay afloat. 

9. What kind of advice would you find most useful to help you and your customers businesses during the Coronavirus crisis? (multiple choice)

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 09.21.04

Staff productivity during remote working: 37%
Data security and compliance for remote environments: 14%
Insight on how other IT Service Providers are faring during the crisis: 63%
Ways to diversify your business to create new revenue streams: 54%
Other (please specify): 2%

Insight and ways to increase revenue streams have been battling it out over the past few weeks, with insight once again taking the lead. 

This weekly survey was made to bring the community together and give clear data on how the industry is being affected. For an in-depth look at how the numbers have compared from week to week, please watch the video at the top of this page.

As a reminder, the more people who complete this survey, the more reflective the results will be of the industry as a whole. I urge everyone who is reading this to sign up for our email updates, or follow Zedsphere on social media to be alerted of when the next survey is posted.

10. Do you currently feel concerned for the future of your business as a result of Coronavirus?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 09.32.40

No, I think we will grow as a result: 29%
No, I think we will neither grow nor shrink: 16%
Yes, this may have a negative effect on my business:  51%
Yes, I am worried that the Coronavirus crisis will put us out of business:  4%

Unfortunately, more MSPs are predicting that their business will suffer as a result of the economic impact of COVID-19. The silver lining here is that once again, the number that are worried about being put out of business has shrunk.

11. Currently, what is your top concern regarding Coronavirus in relation to your business?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 09.42.55

That my customers will not be able to pay me: 63%
That an overwhelming number of my staff will become sick and need to self isolate: 2%
That I cannot keep up with demand: 2%
That there is a shortage of incoming new business: 33%
Other (please specify): 0%

Cash liquidity and new business come out on top again this week.

To find new business, MSPs have the option to sign up to IT Provider Hub. This directory of IT Providers has been made free to join during the crisis and is a great place for new customers to find your business.

12. Are you experiencing challenges with your customers not paying their bills this week?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 10.51.08

Yes, I have customers who have asked for extensions or not paid on time: 35%
No, everyone is still paying as usual: 65%

The number of customers asking for extensions or not paying has gone down slightly this week. Hopefully, this signals a trend and continues to fall as time progresses.

13. Are you using this quiet period to work on any longer term strategic programmes/plans for your IT services business?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 10.55.09

Yes: 67%
No, we have enough going on: 15%
No, but we probably should be: 18%

The next thee questions are new this week. Based off of previous feedback, they will provide further valuable insight into what the industry is doing during this quiet period.

14. If yes, what kind of project are you undertaking?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 11.01.57

Optimising operational working processes: 29%
Improving our ability to create new business leads: 16%
Looking at options to diversify our products and services: 25%
Evaluating new technology tools: 19%
Other (please specify): 11%

There is a vast range of projects that MSPs are undertaking, with no clear winner in any category. 

15. If no, what kind of project do you think would be most beneficial to undertake at the moment?

Screenshot 2020-04-21 at 11.08.20

Optimising operational working processes: 21%
Improving our ability to create new business leads: 24%
Looking at options to diversify our products and services: 28%
Evaluating new technology tools: 21%
Other (please specify): 6%

Much like the previous question, these result also vary. The majority think it would be beneficial to look at ways to diversify their products and services, but no answer got an insignificant amount of traffic. It will be interesting to see how this changes over the coming month.

Thank you once again to everyone who participated in week three of our MSP survey. Over the coming weeks, we hope that you will all continue to submit answers so that we can get a clear picture of how the industry is responding to this crisis in real-time. 

To be the first to hear when we release our next survey and the subsequent results, follow @zedsphere across social media or sign up for email alerts below.

Recommended resources:

THE TECH TRIBE: The MSP Owners Guide to Surviving & Thriving in Uncertain Times

RICHARD TUBB: The COVID-19 MSP Resource Page

FREE EBOOK: The No-Nonsense Guide to Sales and Marketing for IT Providers

MSP FRIENDLY VPN: Perimeter 81


Topics:MSP Growth AcademyIndustry Survey Results

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