COVID-19 Industry Response Survey: Week Six Results

by Rick Yates, on May 6, 2020

Survey results image (2)

Thank you to everyone who took part in the sixth week of our COVID-19 response survey. We appreciate your continued participation and are hopeful that these results are having a meaningful impact on how you're working during this time.







Here are the results for the week commencing 27/04/2020:

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

busy managed services graph

  Last week
This week
A lot busier than last week: 12% 12%
Slightly busier than last week: 18% 28%
About as busy as last week: 30% 29%
Slightly quieter than last week: 25% 17%
A lot quieter than last week: 15% 14%

Fantastic news again! The results have moved in a positive direction with busyness growing 10% in just seven days.

We'd hoped that the results from last week weren't a fluke, and these are a great indicator that the industry is healing. Seeing growth two weeks in a row is amazing, but we won't call it a trend until we have three sets of optimistic data.

Be sure to take part in the next survey and let us know how you fit in.

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

customer cancellations

  Last week This week
Yes: 28% 35%
No: 72% 65%

Ah, spoke too soon! MSPs have seen a 7% increase in customers cancelling or pausing their services this week. 

We can't think of an explanation for why and hopefully it will go down again next week. That said, we do think that when the world shifts back into normalcy, a lot of those clients who paused their services will return.

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)

customer requests

  Last week This week
Yes: 21% 25%
No: 79% 75%

Good! There is a small rise in customers asking for additional services this week. Although some may be pausing/cancelling as per the previous question, it's nice to see that continuing clients are staying engaged.

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

Remote working support is still being mentioned, but this week there has been a big shift to security. Now that everyone is set up at home, they want to make sure they're safe. After all, Coronavirus has become one of the biggest phishing/virus topics in history!

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

customer needs

  Last week
This week
Setting up remote working: 10% 8%
Data security/backup/recovery: 9% 5%
Access to hardware: 1% 5%
Business as usual/service desk: 76% 78%
Other (please specify): 4% 4%

Much the same as last week, with service as usual reigning supreme.

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

technical services suggestions

  Last week
This week
Staff monitoring software - activity/key loggers: 28% 30%
More suitable remote connect/VPN facilities: 53% 47%
Moving data backups off physical sites and into cloud: 22% 27%
Recovering data on a live basis remotely: 4% 2%
Enhanced service desk packages: 22% 17%
Proactive guidance and recommendations on IT strategy: 68% 72%
Other (please specify): 7% 13%

Not too different from last week. There is a range of opinions from IT Providers and that isn't a bad thing. A lot of the time, gaining new business is a result of going in from a different angle, so although 'proactive guidance' is on top, it's good that the other categories do carry some weight.

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

staff on furlough

  Last week This week
Yes: 35% 34%
No: 65% 66%

Another week, another drop! Even if it's just a 1% change, it's still a move in the right direction.

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

furlough possibility

  Last week This week
Yes: 10% 5%
No: 73% 65%
Possibly, not sure yet: 17% 30%

There's a lot more uncertainty this week. While business may be picking up again, this prolonged slow period seems to still be having an affect on staffing numbers.

Hopefully everyone who's unsure moves into the 'no' category, but we'll have to wait until next week to see.

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

business advice coronavirus

  Last week
This week
Staff productivity during remote working: 22% 31%
Data security and compliance for remote environments: 22% 11%
Insight on how other IT Service Providers are faring during the crisis: 46% 52%
Ways to diversify your business to create new revenue streams: 62% 55%
Other (please specify): 1% 3%

Much the same as last week - insight and business diversification out on top again, with staff productivity not far behind.

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

future of business coronavirus

  Last week This week
No, I think we will grow as a result: 34% 31%
No, I think we will neither grow nor shrink: 24% 25%
Yes, this may have a negative effect on my business: 41% 41%
Yes, I am worried that the Coronavirus crisis will put us out of business: 1% 3%

This week there's less confidence and more fear. A slight change is still notable, but we hope to see a more positive improvement next week.

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

top business concerns

  Last week
This week
That my customers will not be able to pay me: 59% 52%
That an overwhelming number of my staff will become sick and need to self isolate: 1% 5%
That I cannot keep up with demand: 4% 6%
That there is a shortage of incoming new business: 34% 35%
Other (please specify): 2% 2%

Cash liquidity and new business are still on top, with the results remaining fairly similar. The small increase in MSPs who are worried about staff health is sad to see, but we're all wishing you well.

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?

customers not paying

  Last week This week
Yes, I have customers who have asked for extensions or not paid on time: 24% 38%
No, everyone is still paying as usual: 76% 62%

What happened this week?! A 14% rise in customers asking for extensions/not paying is not what we expected to see.

After the previous numbers moved in the right direction, this is a bit disheartening. We just have to stay positive and hope for a big drop next week!

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

new managed services projects

  Last week This week
Yes: 72% 75%
No, we have enough going on: 15% 14%
No, but we probably should be: 13% 11%

The number of IT Providers who are choosing to pick up new projects seems to slowly be increasing each week.

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

type of new venture

  Last week
This week
Optimising operational working processes: 33% 39%
Improving our ability to create new business leads: 16% 25%
Looking at options to diversify our products and services: 33% 22%
Evaluating new technology tools: 13% 9%
Other (please specify): 5% 5%

Optimising operational processes seems like the most attainable goal for most MSPs, so it's no surprise that it has taken an even bigger lead.

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

new project suggestions

  Last week
This week
Optimising operational working processes: 23% 20%
Improving our ability to create new business leads: 32% 42%
Looking at options to diversify our products and services: 26% 20%
Evaluating new technology tools: 13% 11%
Other (please specify): 6% 6%

Again, the majority of MSPs see lead generation as their best bet.

Thank you once again to everyone who participated in week six 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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