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CyberFortress 2023 Predictions: Navigating SaaS and Backup in a Perfect Storm


Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2023.  Read them in this 15th annual series exclusive.

Navigating SaaS and Backup in a Perfect Storm

By Nathan Anderson, CTO, CyberFortress

Let's face it, 2022 was a rocky year. A pandemic refused to release its grip, companies struggled to establish good in-office vs. remote work policies, political and social tensions climbed even higher, and now a recession looms and layoffs have begun. But, businesses have kept on keeping on throughout it all. The key to doing that in 2023 will be the ability to do more with less and protect uptime amidst an ever-morphing catalog of cyber threats.

Software as a service offerings (SaaS) have grown in popularity and purpose, driven by many of the same cost and operational factors you might expect during a recession. This bodes well for managed services and security providers (MSPs and MSSPs): The services, infrastructure and expertise they provide will be instrumental for navigating the tricky waters ahead.

The following are predictions focused on key areas, challenges on the horizon, as well as opportunities to explore that'll undoubtedly make 2023 the SaaSiest year to date.

Perfect Storm, Perfect Match

While SaaS has taken off, the critical ability to back up the data the services hold has had to catch up. In a recent survey of IT leaders by Veeam Software, more than three of four respondents said they have enlisted a third-party backup solution or Backup as a Service (BaaS) to cover Microsoft 365.

Still, IT teams are already strained and backing up and managing SaaS is complex. Hardware to support solutions can be costly and difficult to find. Businesses are stressed and IT leaders are looking to offload as much work as they can, especially whereas their staff could be decreased even while the threat of cyber attacks is on the rise.

For these reasons, companies unable to deploy their own backup solution for SaaS offerings like Microsoft 365 will be even more motivated to leverage a BaaS provider in 2023. The lower overall investment in people and technology makes MSPs the perfect match for this perfect storm.

Those Backup and DR providers that make onboarding fast and easy will gain most of all.

Expertise Wanted

While SaaS may handle financial and workload concerns, arguably more important is that they deliver access to expertise. Talent is hard to find and businesses need skilled technologists, consultants and vendors in their back pockets. But even if you can find the right candidates, building out an in-house IT team requires extensive training and constant updating, which can be too time and cost prohibitive for many companies.

As businesses gained confidence in SaaS, they quickly realized that backing up alone is not enough today. Additional services, ranging from disaster to infrastructure recovery (DRaaS and IaaS), are critical for ensuring uptime. This further raises the value of access to expertise. For many, MSPs will be the only way to overcome the void caused by talent shortages and IT teams that are spread too thin.

Securing Security and SMBs

A similar scenario exists in cybersecurity, where MSSPs will see a strong uptick in 2023 for pretty much the same reasons. It's easy to become numb to the constant ransomware headlines but the alarm is warranted and new twists are constantly emerging. This is not only going to continue, the activity will increase as hackers enjoy their own business boom, regardless of the economy.

With a threat like a hurricane, an organization has an idea of where it will hit and can even do a failover in advance to prevent downtime. But with a threat like ransomware, you may not know you've been infected for months or if it's ever been fully removed. And cyberattacks spare no one - SMBs have become primary targets. In 2023, cyber resiliency and planning will be in the spotlight, and MSSPs will secure security in the underserved SMB market.

More Than Money

While cost is always a factor, and budgetary concerns will take on more importance in the year ahead, outcomes are what's most important when it comes to providing services. Mid-market companies and SMBs are now thinking like enterprises and ensuring maximum uptime is the ultimate goal.

According to SpyCloud's Ransomware Defense Report, organizations were more likely than ever to fall prey to repeat attacks last year. Half of those surveyed for the report were hit at least twice, a fifth claiming to have fallen victim between six and ten times.

Finances lost from downtime produce the most significant pain, never mind the toll it takes on customer relationships. That said, companies of all stripes will subscribe to MSP and MSSP offerings in 2023, just so long as the value can be proven. This is also why we'll see service level agreements with rising demands continuing to grow.

Be Ready to Back it Up

With 2023 slated to be the SaaSiest year to date, businesses realize they better be ready to back it all up. This is why we're seeing backup and data protection budgets increasing despite economic jitters. There's more recognition that every company is not just a possible target, they will be hit by some type of threat, possibly repeatedly.

With this in mind, a "plan to fail" strategy shift that is well underway - focused on making sure backups are safe and fast to recover - will be the best course to follow when navigating 2023. 




Nathan, a highly respected industry veteran with deep expertise in cloud, cybersecurity, compliance and security software development, serves as Chief Technology Officer for CyberFortress. He previously held the same post for Jungle Disk. Prior to that, Nathan served as vice president of DevOps engineering for Chargify, as well as director of software engineering and DevOps for ClearDATA. He also spent 15 years at Rackspace as engineering manager and director of product management. Nathan has a passion for building and maintaining highly engaged teams that are driven by making customers’ lives better. The intersection of people and technology is his focus.

Published Wednesday, January 18, 2023 7:33 AM by David Marshall
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