Based on my experience in leading the launch of EY’s Cybersecurity Managed Services business and helping dozens of managed services providers enter new service lines, I thought it might be helpful to share a few ideas on how a regional accounting firm can think about the steps required to launch a managed cybersecurity services business to expand their range of services and generate consistent, diversified revenue streams. As cybersecurity becomes increasingly crucial for companies prioritizing data privacy and protection, this area presents significant growth potential. To establish a successful managed cybersecurity practice, firms should follow seven essential steps and several key considerations.
Assess the Market Demand: Begin by researching the demand for managed cybersecurity services within the target market that you serve today not hope to serve tomorrow. As a regional accounting firm, Investigate and develop archetypes for existing clients’ needs and identify gaps in the available cybersecurity services, software, and capabilities that match the broadest range reasonable of your target market’s threats.
Design a Comprehensive Service Offering: Based on the assessed demand, create a comprehensive service offering that covers all necessary components for a successfully managed cybersecurity business. This may include hardware and software procurement, installation and configuration, continuous monitoring and maintenance, and helpdesk support.
Assemble the Team: Form a team of experienced professionals with expertise in various aspects of managed cybersecurity services, such as threat detection/response, IAM, DLP, VM network administration, and other key areas of support. Depending on the firm’s resources and employee capacity, the team can be composed of in-house staff or contractors.
Forge Strategic Partnerships: Establish partnerships with technology vendors and service providers to deliver services effectively. Such collaborations can grant the firm access to the latest technology and expertise to better support its clients.
Determine Pricing Structure: Set the pricing for the managed cybersecurity services offering, taking into account the costs of providing the services and competitors’ pricing within the industry.
Create Marketing and Sales Strategies: Develop a robust Managed Cybersecurity Services marketing and sales plan to promote the new business to existing and potential clients. This may involve advertising, content marketing, and referral programs.
Launch and Continuously Evaluate the Service: After implementing all necessary components, launch the service and begin serving clients. Continually assess the service’s effectiveness and make adjustments as needed to ensure it meets clients’ needs while remaining profitable.
Key Considerations for Building a Cybersecurity Practice:
Compliance Requirements: Understand and address the specific compliance requirements of clients in highly regulated industries within the managed services offering.
Risk Management: Incorporate a risk management framework into the offering to identify and mitigate potential risks in the client’s IT environment.
Incident Response Planning: Include an incident response plan in the managed services offering that outlines the steps to be taken in case of a cybersecurity incident.
Ongoing Training and Education: Ensure continuous training and education for both the firm’s employees and its clients to maintain the effectiveness of the managed services offering.
Expanding a regional accounting firm’s services with a managed cybersecurity program can generate stable revenue streams and capitalize on the growing demand from businesses prioritizing privacy and data protection. Success requires thoughtful planning and execution, including thorough market research, team building, vendor partnerships, transparent pricing, and effective marketing. By adhering to the seven essential steps outlined above, regional accounting firms can establish a foothold in managed cybersecurity services, offering valuable services to their clients while generating additional revenue streams. Expanding a regional accounting firm’s services with a managed cybersecurity program can generate stable revenue streams and capitalize on the growing demand from businesses prioritizing privacy and data protection. Success in this area requires thoughtful planning and execution, including thorough market research, team building, vendor partnerships, transparent pricing, and effective marketing. By adhering to the seven essential steps outlined above, regional accounting firms can establish a foothold in managed cybersecurity services, offering valuable services to their clients while generating additional revenue streams.
About the Author: Ben Trowbridge is an accomplished Outsourcing Consultant with extensive experience in outsourcing and managed services. As a former EY Partner and CEO of Alsbridge, he built successful practices in Transformational Outsourcing, BPO, Cybersecurity assessment, IT Outsourcing, and Cybersecurity Sourcing. Throughout his career, Ben has advised a broad range of clients on outsourcing and global business services strategy and transactions. As the current CEO of the Outsourcing Center, he provides invaluable insights and guidance to buyers and managed services executives. Contact him at [email protected].