Technology continues to evolve at warp speed. With the ever-changing economic and business climates, it is no longer enough for MSPs to only provide managed services. IT firms have to evolve with their client’s needs; moving from technologist to innovator.

Amy Luby, Founder of Modern MSP

AUTHOR: Amy Luby, Founder of Modern MSP

As more companies turn to MSPs to develop and manage their IT infrastructure, providers need to ensure they are up to the task with the latest innovations, from the cloud and cybersecurity to new IoT and AI applications. IT services firms play a significant role in guiding their customers in the right direction toward the technologies and trends shaping their particular industry.

MSPs need their fingers on the pulse of not only what’s new but on what’s coming down the pike

Playing ‘catch-up’ is the last thing a company wants to do in the ever-evolving marketplace. MSPs need their fingers on the pulse of not only what’s new but on what’s coming down the pike that could address their customers’ changing and expanding needs. This is especially true with the increasing adaptation of the remote work culture. Most clients’ IT infrastructure development and business requirements are moving targets with multiple public cloud environments that employees can access from anywhere in the world. Security has become the number one concern for organizational leaders.

Managed services are a difference-maker

The shift to cloud and hybrid IT models requires MSPs to look inward to their clients’ people, systems, operations, and processes. Are they deploying the most advanced and cost-effective technologies to enable the fast-paced environments their customers want and need?

As more companies embrace managed service providers, the MSP landscape is becoming even more competitive. The IT managed service market is ballooning at record rates. A study by Research Dive predicts the market will hit $411 billion in 2027, up from $174 billion in 2019. Part of this growth is due to the lack of internal resources as companies struggle to find tech resources or cut back due to COVID and decided to outsource their IT needs. ‘The Great Resignation’ is also hitting the IT industry hard, leaving companies devoid of the people and skills to keep those operations in-house.

The IT managed service market is ballooning at record rates. A study by Research Dive predicts the market will hit $411 billion in 2027, up from $174 billion in 2019

Those internal concerns allow MSPs to become increasingly competitive. IT services providers need to do more than just provide technology and support; they must innovate and future-proof their clients’ organizations, and their own. Here are a few of the key innovations MSPs can make to stay ahead of the game for themselves and their clients.

Add AI, Machine Learning (ML), and IoT to your offerings

Artificial intelligence is rapidly becoming the go-to technology for unlocking operational efficiency, giving MSPs a real opportunity to differentiate their businesses from the competition. From chatbots and support tickets to fulfillment and customer support, AI and ML automate repeatable, mundane tasks to increase efficiency and reduce labor and operational costs. How could your clients benefit from these innovative technologies?

Other areas of AI IT management that boost productivity and ROI include:

>> Security information event management – Next-generation firewalls and web filters use machine learning to detect data breaches and easily identify the root cause of various threats.

>> Endpoint management – automatically push patches to each endpoint to greatly reduce system downtime.

>> IT operations – Enhance system and network efficiency and continuity while preventing configuration change errors and downtime.

IoT offers additional revenue-generating opportunities. Implementing technologies that can manage building operations and vehicle fleets and track assets improves your clients’ productivity, efficiency, and safety.

Invest in Business Intelligence (BI) and data analytics

If clients don’t know their business metrics, they won’t be able to make insightful decisions on their future. Understanding those operations and plans allows MSPs to track, manage, and implement performance goals, enhancing how they serve their customers. Keep up with the trends so you can transform data into actionable strategies and solutions.

Focus on innovation

MSPs must create an internal culture of innovation. Empowering employees at all levels (including client-side) to share ideas and participate in innovation initiatives fosters success. Take time to understand their goals, challenges, and infrastructure to reduce the learning curve associated with each new client. Those conversations can also help you become more efficient with service delivery, enhance your ability to leverage existing tools and assets, and drive ingenuity.

Proactively strengthen cybersecurity

With the rise of the remote workforce and the proliferation of IoT device implementation, ransomware, and increased cloud security threats, advanced security is a necessity. With data privacy, authentication, and other cybersecurity expertise, MSPs have a distinct advantage today. Implementing the latest technologies, including AI and machine learning, into your deployment strategy is a differentiator that drives even more incremental revenue opportunities.

RELATED The key to MSP success is leading with cybersecurity 

Investing in the Future

The last two years have been a technological wake-up call for the business community. Chances are, many of your clients realized it was time to listen to past advice and embrace new technologies and operational policies.

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Companies no longer have a choice. Now is the time for decision-makers to lean on the professionals (MSPs) to help innovate and secure their infrastructure. The competition is forcing businesses to not only keep up with recent technological advances but lead from the front if they want to survive. This evolving mindset gives MSPs new opportunities to innovate and become more flexible, scalable, agile, and trusted partners to businesses. Tell us how you have helped your clients deploy innovative technologies over at the Modern MSP Facebook group.

About the author

Amy Luby is the Founder of Modern MSP. A proven entrepreneur and pioneer in the IT services industry, Amy founded and built one of the first Managed Services Providers in America. Next, she expanded that business into one of the first Master MSPs, defining both business models in the process. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.