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10 MSP Sustainability Predictions for 2024: What's Next for Green IT and Managed Energy Services

December 29, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

At first glance, MSPs are late to the sustainability market -- especially in North America. But if you take a closer look, you'll notice some major managed IT service providers (MSPs) building out sustainability business practices for their end-customers.

So, how will MSPs evolve with sustainability in mind for 2024? Here are 10 predictions...

Robert Bailkoski
Robert Bailkoski, CEO, Logicalis: Early mover in the sustainable IT services market.

1. Carbon and Energy Monitoring Dashboards: MSPs already monitor IT infrastructure, endpoints, data, applications, cloud services and plenty more. Some leading MSPs will begin to add carbon monitoring, energy monitoring and energy management to their dashboards. First-movers include Logicalis, a major IT service provider that provides CIOs and customers with "the insights they need to improve both the environmental and business impact of their digital ecosystem." Amid that Logicalis innovation, Cisco Systems named Logicalis as its sustainability partner of the year for 2023.

2. Compliance as a Service Evolves in Europe: Scores of MSPs help customers to align with CMMC, Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA and other government mandates. MSPs -- especially those that support customers in Europe -- will gradually develop CSDR (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) expertise.

3. Compliance as a Service Evolves in the United States: Multiple sustainability and climate mandates also are on the way in the United States. For instance, a California carbon emissions law known as SB 253 could impact MSPs and consultancies of all sizes -- regardless of geographic location, according to our editorial analys. Moreover, the SEC is still preparing a long-delayed climate mandate of its own.

Faith Taylor: Chief Sustainability and ESG Officer, Kyndryl
Faith Taylor, Global sustainability and ESG officer, Kyndryl:

4. MSPs Will Hire Chief Sustainability Officers: Kyndryl, the managed infrastructure service provider that spun off from IBM in 2021, hired Tesla veteran Faith Taylor as global sustainability & ESG officer in December 2021. Taylor is now one of the highest-profile sustainability leaders in the IT services market. That potentially bodes well for Kyndyl's external and internal sustainability strategy -- which calls for the MSP to be carbon-neutral by 2040. And it may also help Kyndryl to attract customers that are seeking green IT services. We expect more MSPs to follow Kyndryl's lead by hiring full-time CSOs.

5. MSPs Will Sell to Chief Sustainability Officers (CSOs): Environmental sustainability is now a Top 10 business priority for CEOs, according to Gartner. As a result, we expect CEOs to demand close working relationships between their CIOs, CSOs and MSP partners.

6. Sustainability Partner Programs Will Engage MSPs and Channel Partners: Early examples include the Cisco Environmental Sustainability Specialization, HP Amplify Impact program, and the Workiva partner program. On a similar note, business management software provider Sage is calling on partners to address SMB sustainability for customers. Related: Search our global database of sustainability partner programs.

7. MSPs Will Plug Into Green Cloud Services & Green Data Centers: By 2027, 75% of organizations will have implemented a data center infrastructure sustainability program, up from less than 5% in 2022, Gartner predicted. As a result, customers will demand that their MSPs plug into green data centers and green cloud service providers. It's already happening at AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud, which increasingly power their data centers with renewable energy.

8. IT Asset Disposition (ITAD), E-Waste and Circular Economy Services Will Accelerate: Distributors, software companies and hardware companies increasingly offer ITAD tools that help customers reduce e-waste. The reason? Annual spending on ITAD is expected to reach $34 billion by 2030, up from $16.8 billion in 2022, according to Research and Markets. That's a 9.2% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), the researcher said. Amid that market growth, M&A (merger and acquisition) activity remains strong in the ITAD market.

9. MSPs Will Begin to Build their Own Sustainability Tools: A prime example involves  EPX Technical Services CEO Daniel Ellis, who expanded beyond the MSP market into the IT power management market. Yes indeed, the MSP owner is now development power management software.

10. MSP Software Suppliers Will Explore the SMB Sustainability Market: Admittedly, I haven't seen this happen in a major way yet. But I think MSP software suppliers -- names like ConnectWise, Kaseya/Datto, N-able, NinjaOne, Syncro and others -- will realize that their RMM (remote monitoring and management) software is purpose-built for carbon reduction since the tools reduce on-site support needs and MSP truck rolls. At some point, I believe the RMM software will increasingly expand from device monitoring and management to energy monitoring and management. For now, that's just a thesis. But I'm sticking by it.

11. Bonus - Top Sustainable IT Service Providers: If you still think MSPs and IT consulting firms won't warm up to sustainability, check out this list of Top 10 Sustainable IT Service providers for 2024, and their recent business milestones.

What did I miss? What's off the mark? Your feedback is always welcome. Please send it my way: Joe@MentoreVentures.com.

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