The MSP Hub” has offered some insightful thoughts for Managed Service Providers who are looking to add IoT device management to their associated products and service menu. According to the Hub, the IoT managed service market is expected to grow at a rate of 15.3% annual compound growth rate until 2022. With this being the case, how is your MSP business positioning itself to capitalize on  the opportunity in the IoT space?

The Hub listed 4 considerations to weigh at the outset.

Analyzing IoT device data

While many MSP partners will be willing to simply manage or monitor IoT devices, winners in the category will find creative and functional ways to deliver or communicate collected data to their clients. This new valuable data can assist businesses in achieving additional revenue opportunities provided by IoT devices.

Need for new expertise

While many in the MSP industry are accustomed to the norm of plug-and-play offerings, many IoT devices are being introduced into environments without such helpful tools. Managed service providers will need to bring in new expertise to create, build and manage the systems to operate such devices. The talent for these skills are in high demand and will require HR teams to have a basic working knowledge in order to recognize and recruit the appropriate skill sets.

Decision-making is complex

MSP’s should take into consideration that IoT applications are more complicated than traditional IT infrastructure. A major component of this complexity is the number of unique decision makers and personnel required to make final investment choices.  Be prepared for lengthy and complex conversations regarding specific roles and sharing of data between managing departments and decision makers.

The investment

The Hub also points out that “managed service providers will need to make significant investments in asset management platforms, data analytics solutions, and staff recruitment and retention.”

Who to target?

Healthcare, manufacturing and retail verticals are ready for IoT implementation. These industries are often early adopters of technology and are prepared for experts to help manage the process and delivery of valuable data for immediate use.

The most productive way to reach these segments would be to hire specific team members with experience in these fields. The teams will need to who have a working knowledge of the customer’s wants, needs and goals for utilizing the data from their IoT assets. With these dedicated IoT teams in place, your product and service offerings could be positioned to differentiate you from competitors who are approaching prospects from a dated and unknowledgeable position.

What’s the future of IoT managed services?

IoT Security

The Hub goes on to offer, that the concerns for security will be a large focus for organizations with the adoption of IoT strategies. They predict, the overall IoT managed security services market is expected to grow fivefold by 2021.

It will be imperative that managed service providers build security-as-a-service (SAAS) into their product offerings.

Edge computing

Enterprises are beginning to understand that the influx of real-time data will only be effective if such data can reach production and decision makers in a timely fashion. Utilizing the cloud infrastructure due to its innate latency could pose a problem. Moving applications and data out of the cloud and into locally hosted gear will often require the need for MSP expertise and management. Edge computing and the colocation of gear into micro-data centers could be considered a valuable offering for IoT MSP’s. Partnering with well connected, 3rd party data centers to provide IAAS (Infrastructure As A Service) could be very valuable for customers who are not in a position to host their own gear.

Taking the first step

The Hub does offer information related to IBM’s “Watson IoT” end to end business solution as a step for MSP’s to begin implementing IoT managed services into their product offerings. MSP’s can reach IBM here for more information on their platform products.

Big thanks to IBM and the team at The MSP Hub for sharing their thoughts and information on the IoT subject. If your enterprise is considering partnering with a colocation provider who can assist you in positioning your IoT assets near the edge of the network, contact us below for a free colocation consult or schedule a tour of the RACK59 Data Center in Oklahoma City.