Gregg Lalle, SVP International Sales and Strategy, ConnectWise Explores the next steps in the digital evolution.
Over the past 12 months MSPs have played a pivotal role helping customers to respond to the impact of COVID-19. Global pandemic aside, many MSPs are now seeing their customers reprioritise what’s next on their ‘to do’ agenda.
Having adapted fast to new remote working practices, customers now want to drive their next tranche of digital transformation. To future-proof their business and keep up with demand, MSPs will need to adapt fast to stay relevant as customers plan their post-COVID recovery strategies.
However, as MSPs add new services, tools, and software to their solutions arsenal, keeping everything running smoothly day in and day out, so customers never experience a technical or productivity issue, becomes increasingly difficult to orchestrate and manage.
Unified IT management: a more robust and integrated approach
In addition to saving valuable time, money, and manpower effort, introducing a streamlined and automated approach to IT management will enable MSPs to consistently monitor all endpoints so they can minimise customer incidents and outages, and keep them secure.
Delivering a centralised vision of the entire ITSM (IT service management) environment, today’s unified management solutions bring together every element of an MSP’s software stack – monitoring, management, backup, and access – onto a single platform that makes it easy to handle a myriad of complex daily tasks from one centralised dashboard.
As well as making it easier to deploy new services to customers faster, unified IT management improves the quality, speed, and efficiency of service delivery across the board. Enabling MSPs to seamlessly administer their evolving operations while giving their technicians the tools they need to personalise customer support and be more productive.
Implementing unified IT management – the key considerations
Before investing in a unified management solution, MSPs should first assess the needs of the business and how well their current management system is able to address the frustrations that employees and customers encounter; typically, these include a lack of flexibility or integration with key software packages, or security incidents that are too close a call for comfort. By aggregating as much input as possible at this stage, everyone has a shared and concise vision of what capabilities the solution needs to offer.
In terms of top features to look for, MSPs should check if a solution enables them to seamlessly automate existing tools and technologies so that policies and patches can be automatically deployed, systems backed up and support teams are able to drop into client machines at a moment’s notice. Similarly, automation needs to encompass support functions like the network operations centre (NOC), security operations centre (SOC), help desk for troubleshooting, and outsourced support for things like cybersecurity monitoring. This will free up teams to work on more advanced issues.
Tight integration with the remote monitoring and management (RMM) system will also be critical for eliminating the blind spots that can result in customer downtime. Finally, look for in-built security capabilities that make it possible to frustrate cyber incidents faster and keep customers secure.
In the run up to implementation, teams should be trained on how to use the product to execute the recommended best practices that will address a range of scenarios. Partnering with a vendor that offers certifications on how to get a greater ROI on their technology investment will also help ensure MSPs achieve maximum bang for their buck.
Delivering value in today’s fast-evolving marketplace
Building on existing relationships and developing new services that deliver deep value to customers will be critical in the next 18 months. But as MSPs diversify their offerings and rise to the challenge of helping customers transition to the new normal, they need to be confident they can do all this and continue to maintain service levels. Because having a customer call up and say they can’t access their emails, or back up any files, is an MSP’s worst nightmare.
To administer an increasingly complex environment across multiple operational silos in the most efficient way possible, MSPs will need to adopt an integrated and automated IT management approach that makes it possible to orchestrate new potential solutions, security, AI, deep integrations, and highly evolved service offerings cohesively -and without compromise.
With the right solution in place, MSPs can dedicate their efforts to mastering the ITSM platform they use to get the best ROI. That includes freeing up their highly trained staff to focus more strategically on serving customers better and supporting them as they plan for the future and embrace new technologies.
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