COVID-19 Industry Response Survey: Week Three Results

by Rick Yates, on April 14, 2020

Thank you to everyone who took part in the third week of our COVID-19 response survey. We had a great surge of feedback this week, leading to some interesting findings.







Here are the results for the week commencing 06/04/2020:

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

Screenshot 2020-04-14 at 08.39.19

A lot busier than last week: 4%
Slightly busier than last week: 5%
About as busy as last week: 21%
Slightly quieter than last week: 31%
A lot quieter than last week: 39%

The industry has now significantly slowed down. While some IT requirements are ongoing from week to week (see question four), for the most part, many customers are now settled into a routine and keeping to themselves.

There is also the factor of furloughed staff, which will've been a huge factor in this bottom-heavy result.

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

Screenshot 2020-04-14 at 08.47.15

Yes: 47%
No: 53%

This result is to be expected. The margin has slowly gotten smaller over the past few weeks, so it will be interesting to see if in the end, more customers have cancelled/paused their services than not.

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 2020-04-14 at 08.50.22

Yes: 36%
No: 64%

This is almost exactly the same response as last week, showing that there are still many avenues of growth for MSPs.

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

word cloud

Once again, almost every response 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 2020-04-14 at 08.59.11

Setting up remote working: 25%
Data security/backup/recovery: 5%
Access to hardware: 2%
Business as usual/service desk: 61%
Other (please specify): 7%

Business as usual is now firmly the norm.

However, a few of the 'other' responses mentioned cyber security, for which we recommend Untangle.

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 2020-04-14 at 09.06.32

Staff monitoring software - activity/key loggers: 33%
More suitable remote connect/VPN facilities: 54%
Moving data backups off physical sites and into cloud: 28%
Recovering data on a live basis remotely: 1%
Enhanced service desk packages: 17%
Proactive guidance and recommendations on IT strategy: 73%
Other (please specify): 16%

Guidance with IT strategy and a more suitable remote working/VPN service stand head and shoulder above the rest, with the results becoming even more skewed in their direction this week.

The only other option to see a slight increase was data backups, for which 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 2020-04-14 at 09.08.50

Yes: 38%
No: 62%

Similar to the increase seen from week one to two, the 'yes' answers have grown 10%.

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

Survey results

Yes: 10%
No: 59%
Possibly, not sure yet: 31%

This is exactly the same result as last week. As we can see from the previous question, only 10% went on to furlough their staff, with all of the 'possibly' vote holding off. It will be interesting to see if this uncertainty persists.

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

Screenshot 2020-04-14 at 09.29.06

Staff productivity during remote working: 38%
Data security and compliance for remote environments: 10%
Insight on how other IT Service Providers are faring during the crisis: 56%
Ways to diversify your business to create new revenue streams: 66%
Other (please specify): 4%

Many MSPs are looking to create new revenue streams, with a few answers in the 'other' category recognising their need to focus on marketing right now.

This free marketing eBook from my industry podcast, the IT Provider Show, is a great resource for anyone looking for new ways to generate leads. 

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

Screenshot 2020-04-14 at 09.36.58

No, I think we will grow as a result: 28%
No, I think we will neither grow nor shrink: 19%
Yes, this may have a negative effect on my business:  47%
Yes, I am worried that the Coronavirus crisis will put us out of business:  6%

While the amount of MSPs who think they will grow has shrunk, the number that are worried about going out of business has also fallen, which is a net win.

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

Screenshot 2020-04-14 at 09.41.08

That my customers will not be able to pay me: 69%
That an overwhelming number of my staff will become sick and need to self isolate: 3%
That I cannot keep up with demand: 3%
That there is a shortage of incoming new business: 22%
Other (please specify): 3%

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

To find new business goes, 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 2020-04-14 at 10.21.54

Yes, I have customers who have asked for extensions or not paid on time: 39%
No, everyone is still paying as usual: 61%

The number of customers asking for extensions or not paying has shot up by 12% in just one week. While we do have to be understanding during this time, hopefully this does not see another big increase in the results to come.


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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