COVID-19 Industry Response Survey: Week Two Results
by Rick Yates, on April 7, 2020
Thank you to everyone who took part in the second week of our COVID-19 response survey. Following feedback from the first round, this week we tweaked a few questions and added some more specific options to get a clearer picture of how much Coronavirus is having an affect on the success and growth of the IT Services industry.
Here are the results for the week commencing 30/03/2020:
1. How busy has your business been this week compared to last week?
|A lot busier than last week:||4%|
|Slightly busier than last week:||10%|
|About as busy as last week:||14%|
|Slightly quieter than last week:||40%|
|A lot quieter than last week:||33%|
These results are a huge shift from last week. Where there previously seemed to be an even split between those who were a lot busier (42%) and those who had experienced a slowdown (19% 'slightly' and 21% 'a lot'), things have clearly taken a turn in the past seven days.
Now the vast majority have seen demand for IT services quieten down, with only _ experiencing an increase in business. As more clients settle into home working, this sadly doesn't come as a surprise.
With more uncertainty on the horizon, MSPs must be proactive in what they offer their clients. A lot of people don't know what they need in their stack to be successful during this time, so you can tell them! We'll cover this more in a later question.
2. Have any of your customers cancelled or paused their service with you?
This is one of the new questions in the survey and it paints an interesting picture of the IT provider landscape. Everyone is trying to cut costs right now, but when this has passed it's likely these customers 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.)
A clean two thirds split. Eve though less people requested additional services this week, 35% is not an insignificant amount and shows that there is still opportunity out there.
4. If your customers are in need of any additional services, what are they?
In a similar result to last week, almost every response to this question mentioned remote working support and VPN access as their most requested services.
5. What have your customers mostly needed from you this week?
|Setting up remote working:||38%|
|Access to hardware:||4%|
|Business as usual/service desk:||41%|
|Other (please specify):||10%|
While the setup of remote working eclipsed the other answers last week, these results show that things are going back to normal. Other services besides remote working have gained slight traction and it will be interesting to see if this continues next week.
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
|Staff monitoring software - activity/key loggers:||39%|
|More suitable remote connect/VPN facilities:||57%|
|Moving data backups off physical sites and into cloud:||24%|
|Recovering data on a live basis remotely:||2%|
|Enhanced service desk packages:||24%|
|Proactive guidance and recommendations on IT strategy:||61%|
|Other (please specify):||7%|
Of the MSPs who took part in the survey this week, the majority think that their clients are going to need guidance with their IT strategy and a more suitable remote working/VPN service the most.
That said, apart from live data recovery, all of the answers got a decent amount of votes, showing a real opportunity for growth.
Send you clients an email about what they need to succeed and why - you can even link them to these results. Show that although everyone wants to keep costs down, it's important not to hinder progress in that pursuit.
For anyone interested in data backup, 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?
Last week, this question received a 17/83% yes/no split. While the amount of MSPs that have furloughed staff has risen over 10%, these numbers are still positive in comparison to the wider national average.
8. If no, do you expect to place staff on furlough next week?
|Possibly, not sure yet:||31%|
With 'yes' receiving less than 10% of the vote, IT Providers seem keen to hold onto their staff.
9. What kind of advice would you find most useful to help you and your customers businesses during the Coronavirus crisis? (multiple choice)
|Staff productivity during remote working:||45%|
|Data security and compliance for remote environments:||11%|
|Insight on how other IT Service Providers are faring during the crisis:||61%|
|Ways to diversify your business to create new revenue streams:||58%|
|Other (please specify):||4%|
Insight has pushed into the front of this category, which is lucky, because these survey results provide just that.
10. Do you currently feel concerned for the future of your business as a result of Coronavirus?
|No, I think we will grow as a result:||32%|
|No, I think we will neither grow nor shrink:||18%|
|Yes, this may have a negative effect on my business:||41%|
|Yes, I am worried that the Coronavirus crisis will put us out of business:||9%|
In a surprising turn of events, more people feel that their business will benefit from this pandemic this week than they did last week (24%).
As time passes, it seems that IT Providers are getting a clearer picture of just how their business will do in this crisis, meaning more concrete answers in the positive and negative.
11. Currently, what is your top concern regarding Coronavirus in relation to your business?
|That my customers will not be able to pay me:||64%|
|That an overwhelming number of my staff will become sick and need to self isolate:||5%|
|That I cannot keep up with demand:||1%|
|That there is a shortage of incoming new business:||26%|
|Other (please specify):||4%|
This is a similar result to last week, with cash liquidity and lack of new business being the big concerns for many MSPs.
As the weeks go on, it will be interesting to compare the results from this question with the results from question 12.
As far as finding 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?
|Yes, I have customers who have asked for extensions or not paid on time:||27%|
|No, everyone is still paying as usual:||73%|
This new question will be one of the most illuminating over the coming weeks. At the moment, the majority of MSPs are not having an issue with getting paid. Whether this will change remains to be seen.
Thank you once again to everyone who participated in week two 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.
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