Spending on Managed Services, Especially Security, To Inch Up in 2022

Managed services spending is set to increase next year, according to a recent survey.

The "2022 State of IT" report by Spiceworks Ziff Davis (SWZD), released Tuesday, polled over 1,000 IT buyers in North America and Europe to gauge the direction of IT spending trends in 2022. Over half of respondents said they expect an increase in their IT budgets in the coming year, and by a fairly signifcant amount, too -- an average of 26 percent over 2021.

The bulk of next year's budgets is expected to go toward hardware (about 30 percent of total IT spending), followed by software (28 percent) and cloud services (26 percent).

Comparatively, managed services spending will make up only a small piece of the pie -- just 17 percent of total budgets. That 2022 projection is an increase from this year and 2020, however. And within the broader "managed services" category are some interesting trends for partners.

Security Is the Key
"Managed security, managed hosting, managed storage/backup, managed hardware support, managed cloud infrastructure, and managed business applications are expected to account for the largest portions of managed services budgets in 2022," the report's authors wrote.

Managed security services will see a particularly significant spike in interest, they indicated. Since the pandemic forced many workers out of their offices last year and into remote-work scenarios, businesses have been looking for ways to secure their employees, no matter where they are and what devices they're using. With remote work and hybrid work models gaining widespread acceptance, and with pandemic conditions still persisting in many parts of the world, the need for managed security services will likely continue well into 2022.

"One technology area where adoption continues its upward climb -- despite the pandemic -- is emerging security solutions," the report authors said. "Driven by the need to secure remote workers and the continued threat of ransomware, companies will plow ahead with investment in emerging security solutions."

Across the board, organizations are planning to increase their adoption of security technologies, but the top five categories are:

  • Employee security training tools (76 percent of companies)
  • Anti-ransomware solutions (76 percent)
  • Hardware-based authentication (68 percent)
  • Breach detection and response (59 percent)
  • Zero-trust security solutions (57 percent)

Larger enterprises and businesses in highly regulated industries (like financial services firms) will be the most willing to adopt and invest in new security services, the report found.

Cloud Spending Mirrors Remote Work's Rise
SWZD expects half of all workloads in 2023 to be running in the cloud, which explains the steady increase in cloud-based services spending in recent years (at the expense of spending on legacy hardware).

The bulk of cloud spending in 2022 will go toward productivity solutions and backup/restore/recovery products, in keeping with historical trends. However, the fastest-growing cloud technologies will be around security and desktop-as-a-service products. After all, these are "applications that are relevant in a not-so-alternate reality where more employees work from home," according to the report.

"Cloud security accounted for 5% of cloud budgets in 2020 and will represent an expected 7% in 2022," the authors said. "Desktop-as-a-service spending is expected to grow from 3% of cloud budgets in 2020 to 4% in 2022."

About the Author

Gladys Rama (@GladysRama3) is the editorial director of Converge360.