When you look at your business, you have to ask the question: Is this contextual or strategic? If it’s contextual, your next move should be to outsource—a move that many are making with their network security, Wi-Fi, endpoint protection and firewalls.
While security is important, it shouldn’t be a company’s main area of investment—leave that to the MSSP experts.
speaks with Michael O’Brien
, RVP of Strategic Routes to Market at Fortinet
- Why customers are turning to managed security service providers
- Strategic IT versus contextual IT
- How MSSPs have evolved and their challenges
Why customers are turning to managed security service providers
Customers are turning to MSSPs for a variety of reasons:
- CapEx to OpEx transition
- Shortage of technology workers and cybersecurity professionals
- Migration to work at home or the cloud
For Michael, it’s a combination of all
of these reasons.
Customers have to be strategic about the challenges they focus on.
“It's by no mistake that often enterprises aren't outsourcing or using an MSSP for maybe their engineering efforts. Those are highly strategic to a company in the direction they're going. But it's no surprise that a lot of companies are outsourcing their network security, Wi-Fi, endpoint protection and their firewalls,” Michael explains.are making with their network security, Wi-Fi, endpoint protection and firewalls.
Strategic IT versus contextual IT
Looking closely at IT, how would a company know what’s strategic and what’s contextual?
- Strategic: Associated with anything that directly grows the business.
- Contextual: IT that has to be done because work is being done.
“How do I bring value to my customer? For your financial house, it might be how they actually manage their customers' accounts and apply their algorithms to figure out long-term investment strategies and manage portfolios. So that would be very strategic to a financial services firm,” Michael says. “But what might not be very strategic to a financial services firm is managing endpoints for all of their employees.”are making with their network security, Wi-Fi, endpoint protection and firewalls.
How MSSPs have evolved and their challenges
MSSPs have seen a lot of change in recent years. Most of the evolution, according to Michael, can be broken down into three unique places:
- Top down: To grow their business, they need to add a lot of high-value services.
- Bottom up: Because of all the value-add they’ve done for customers, there’s now a need to manage everything.
- Born in the cloud: Coming into the market brand new, they’ve leveraged the best of the SaaS-based models.
“We're seeing partners come from all three of those avenues. And we have partners and every one of those, we enjoy working with them. And our products, services and solutions really address either in any of those paths,” Michael says.
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