OpenText: AI Main Driver of Growth for MSPs & MSSPs

An OpenText survey of MSPs & MSSPs show how AI has overtaken contract flexibility as the main quality requested, and is now the main driver of their growth

A significant 92.5% of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) reported AI investment and offering AI security services to track threats and vulnerabilities as the major drivers of business growth over the next 12 months. 

This key finding comes from the software company’s OpenText Cybersecurity Global Managed Security Survey 2024, which surveyed over 1,500 MSPs and MSSPs worldwide.

Over 80% of respondents said they are already offering AI-related security services, and of those who are not, 62% plan to introduce these services within the next year. 

This hammers home the cross-industry interest in AI, and how companies increasingly want to work it into their security operations. 

Equally as surprising is to see how fast industry has changed in its predilections. In 2023, contract flexibility was cited as the top quality by customers; in 2024 expertise in security and AI respectively are now the most important MSP/MSSP qualities requested, with 27% wanting to get it solutions all from single vendors.

AI security services

The survey underscores the critical role of AI in enhancing cybersecurity measures. As cyber threats have grown exponentially, criminals are increasingly leveraging AI to augment their attacks. 

With demand for comprehensive security having increased more than 10% in 2024, this has necessitated a robust response from the cybersecurity industry, with AI security services emerging as a key solution.

AI security services offer several advantages in tackling modern cyber threats. These tools can analyse vast amounts of data in real-time, identifying patterns and anomalies that may indicate a security breach.

By automating threat detection and response, AI can significantly reduce the time it takes to identify and mitigate attacks, thereby minimising potential damage.

These abilities have not gone unrecognised. More than three-quarters (83%) of MSPs/MSSPs from the survey reported an increase in business driven by interest in AI security tools and expertise.

With chronic shortage of cybersecurity professionals, and an economy squeezing costs on companies, AI may also be increasingly looking to plug holes in an organisation’s security team.

Yet, AI is an augmentation, not a panacea, warns Prentiss Donohue, Executive VP at OpenText Cybersecurity.

"Amid the growing excitement and interest in AI technologies, it’s crucial not to overlook the foundational need for composable security which provides the ability to adapt to changing security needs," says Donohue. 

"MSPs and MSSPs play a critical role in safeguarding their customers’ sensitive data. As cyber threats escalate, our partners are prioritising security and integrating AI-powered threat intelligence services into their offerings. This ensures our end customers can reap the benefits of AI technology without compromising security."

Going forward with AI

The findings of the OpenText Cybersecurity 2024 Global Managed Security Survey highlights the growing role of AI in the future of cybersecurity. 

But, it's not all smooth sailing. 34% of respondents said the incorporation of AI into security is now the biggest challenge they are helping customers solve.

Digital transformations can be notoriously difficult, and so can change management of staff in learning to utilise the technology. 

Yet as Donohue says, the top ranked benefit of incorporating generative or other AI into customer security programs is to augment the skills of security talent and security platforms, rather than replace people.

So as businesses continue to face evolving threats, finding this balance will become essential. 

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