7 Steps to Future-Proof Your MSP Business and Stay Relevant – G2
Businesses, big and small, operate with flexibility and speed that couldn’t have been imagined even a decade or two ago.
The way businesses are built, scaled, plus managed has transformed at a remarkable pace. Much of this change, from hybrid and remote work in order to instant support to next-day delivery, is powered by the goodness of ever-advancing technology.
While on the outside, businesses have simplified the lives associated with consumers, on the inside, they have got become complex organizations with a beast of an IT engine powering their growth. IT teams at businesses have grown large, complex, and often overwhelmed.
That’s why businesses have got turned to third-party THIS Service Providers or Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to shepherd their IT infrastructure and ensure all devices, servers, networks, software, and services securely work in peak performance at all times.
No wonder the particular MSP industry reached $242. 9 billion in size in 2021 and is estimated to grow to $354. 8 billion dollars in 2026.
But are MSPs ready for the future?
Why you need in order to future-proof your MSP business
Google search data shows a 450% rise in online searches for the term “Managed Service Provider” from 2012 to 2022 in the US. This is as clear a good indicator as any of the increasing demands for MSPs services.
At the same time, it’s also true that the particular work they do is also – a person guessed it – becoming more complex. Just doing what they have been doing so far doesn’t guarantee growth.
The COVID-19 pandemic was a wake-up call with regard to everyone, including MSPs. While pre-pandemic organizations were leaning toward great, centralized workplaces, COVID-19 pushed the trajectory of how we work almost entirely within the opposite direction.
Employees were working from home for an extended period; this moved them to work through anywhere, leading to the rise of digital nomads. Organizations started looking regarding talent everywhere. This has created a need for tech infrastructure that can support a cross work style .
Add in order to this the particular ever-changing nature of technology. On-premise has moved to the cloud, software transmuted into software as a service (SaaS), plus now artificial intelligence (AI) is slowly becoming the core infrastructure rather than a buzzword. Businesses expect their THIS service provider in order to be at the bleeding edge of the latest technology trends.
And that’s not all. As technology powers almost every aspect of our lives, from education and personal finance to healthcare and entertainment, cybercriminals have also expanded their own footprint plus sharpened the particular weapons in their arsenal.
Cybercrime is estimated in order to cost organizations an eye-watering $10. 5 trillion simply by 2025 . Chief information officers (CIOs) and chief executive officers (CEOs) are acutely aware associated with this risk and rely on their particular IT partners to transform their businesses into impenetrable digital fortresses.
The pandemic has been truly a bolt through the blue. No one knows when the next business and tech disruption will happen or its form. MSPs must build resilient companies that can withstand and thrive in such environments.
This is where future-proofing your MSP business comes in. So how do you do it?
Prepare for remote control and crossbreed work
It’s easier said than done but far from an impossible task. While many organizations are going back to in-person work, the work-from-home genie is out of the particular bottle plus won’t be going back again in.
It has opened up fresh opportunities intended for MSPs. Imagine a business headquartered in Seattle yet with employees working out there of their homes or hostels in Tallinn, Bali, or even Patagonia. They log in on their laptops to the company network from wherever they are.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and remote function have made IT support even more complicated. How can an internal THIS team ensure these devices are safe and receive service assistance when needed? MSPs are the answer.
But companies expect anytime, anywhere support. Without the right technology plus tools, MSP techs will have to travel halfway across the world in order to rendezvous along with their clients. That won’t do, will it?
You need to convince your customers and prospects that a person can keep track of devices no matter where they are usually. Investing in the particular right professional services automation (PSA) and remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools enables you to monitor devices proactively and make sure they may be secure, up-to-date, plus remotely responsive. Take care of these measures, and clients will not have to worry about your own reliability.
Remain on top of cyber security
Cyberattacks are not just increasing in quantity; they’re furthermore getting more audacious plus sophisticated. In 2021, SonicWall recorded 623. 2 million ransomware attempts globally, an increase of 105% year-over-year. Simply ransomware attacks.
Companies have long recognized that they can’t prevent cyberattacks all by themselves. MSPs need to showcase their cybersecurity prowess by:
- Ensuring these people have a comprehensive, security-focused technology stack that will uses best-in-class security and endpoint administration tools plus processes.
- Partnering with specialist cybersecurity firms or managed security service providers (MSSPs) in order to cater to their clientele.
- Creating robust technology and online behavior best practices guidelines that include requirements like changing passwords regularly, mandating two-factor authentication (2FA) , plus scheduling regular patch deployments through their own RMM. Zero-trust security practices are key.
- Educating and training clients and their particular employees upon cybersecurity best practices.
- Purchasing an RMM tool that integrates with leading cybersecurity tools in order to remotely deploy and manage the software program that may protect their client’s endpoints.
Invest in tech that will age well
Technology moves the bit forward every day and then takes a giant leap. Once upon a time, businesses had on-premise servers, and all the technologies tools that will MSPs used were also on-premise. That’s no longer the case.
The world has moved to the cloud and SaaS. It hasn’t stopped there. More than ever, along with recessionary winds blowing across the business landscape, companies are now looking at improving efficiency plus cutting unnecessary costs. Automation and AI lend themselves directly to ensuring operations, especially IT, are better managed.
Businesses within different industries use the particular latest tools to optimize their procedures. Unsurprisingly, they will expect their IT service provider also to utilize today’s technology.
Imagine that a number of a client’s devices are low on memory. You, as their MSP, have received this alert, but it is buried deep within the hundreds of alerts you get daily. Chances are you won’t be able to solve this problem before it becomes the challenge for the client.
Now, imagine you have an intelligent alerting system that weeds out unneeded alerts and only delivers salient information. You stay on top of issues prior to they become problems. This particular is the reason why you need to invest in technology that offers built-in AI infrastructure. Similarly, automated patch management keeps your client’s devices risk-free.
Automations ensure repetitive but critical tasks are usually executed like clockwork with minimal manual intervention. Critical tasks are completed on time without errors and free up the MSP technician’s time.
Another significant challenge MSPs face will be optimizing technician time plus making certain billable hours are usually spent on work that brings in revenue. Here again, automation lends a hand.
Let’s say you have a ticketing or expert services software (PSA) program that provides been strengthened with a layer associated with automation. Based on your rules, a good incoming ticket is automatically sorted and assigned to the relevant specialist.
Imagine the ticketing system or PSA that uses conditional logic to standardize processes plus workflows, allowing even a new technician to resolve tickets quickly based on the particular steps suggested by the automated system.
Investing in this type of AI and automation-led equipment helps MSPs refine functions, reduce costs, and improve profitability.
Offer robust differentiators to stand out
The truth is that while demand to get MSPs is usually growing, so is competition. How can you stand out as an MSP when everyone offers best-in-class service?
Ask yourself, “why should a client choose me? ” You should have a strong, solid reply that you believe in. This is how differentiation comes in.
Some MSPs follow the “vertical” route, building deep expertise in one sector plus catering in order to businesses solely in that industry. However, this can be a risky strategy. When COVID-19 hit, and restaurants, hotels, and travel-related businesses bore the brunt, MSPs catering to these sectors were furthermore affected.
This means it’s crucial that a person do your research just before deciding on whether “verticalization” is best pertaining to you.
Ways you can bring in differentiation
- Focus about multiple verticals. It may not make sense to focus on a single vertical, but specializing in the select few, especially those with a certain amount of complexity, can help. For instance, legal companies, hospitals, plus educational institutions must comply with various local, national, federal, and even international regulations. Building expertise such sectors plus ensuring you can help your own clients comply is a definite differentiator which will attract long-term customers.
- Grow your expertise. Specific tools or areas of IT are important for a variety of businesses. Becoming experts in these tools could be the way in order to go. MSPs entirely focused on Microsoft 365 exist, while others are exclusively security experts. Because a leader in your chosen space, you are able to develop strong differentiation.
- Establish your own brand. Getting the go-to MSP meant for businesses in your region where you offer personalized or even in-person service and support is definitely also a good, old-fashioned way to build strong relationships along with clients.
There are, of course , many more ways to catch the eye of clients, but discovering your strengths and honing them is the best way to make it occur.
Use partnerships in order to offer 360-degree support to clients
One of the challenges of being an MSP is that will you cannot be an expert in everything, especially considering the speed with which innovation unfolds.
If you try to offer everything, from website assistance to endpoint management, chances are you’ll become spread too thin, or a person won’t end up being able in order to position yourself as an expert in some of your services. Ensuring you might have technicians who can be specialists in everything you provide will also be an uphill task.
This is when partnerships come in.
Let’s be real – MSPs can be territorial. This is true of many businesses in other industries, yet partnerships make the difference between middling assistance and excellent client support in the service-oriented sector.
Once companies have found an outsourced THIS partner, they likely don’t want to hunt for other service providers. They want their own IT MSP to have almost all the answers to their particular IT-related woes. When an issue arises, or the client needs a good IT project to become implemented, these people expect you, their MSP, to get this done.
So put in the particular effort to partner with other MSPs, especially the ones who offer complementary services.
There is another scenario, too. Let’s say your client decides to expand to another region, plus they anticipate you in order to take care of their IT needs within the new location. You could do most of it remotely, but what if you require to send someone to the site? Having a local MSP that can do this puts your own mind – and your client’s – at ease.
The particular partner MSP could also provide you new business, just because you bring them function.
Guidelines for getting into a partnership along with fellow MSPs
- Clearly define the scope of work and partnership.
- Decide on the particular process. Does your partner possess login credentials within your own PSA & RMM? Do you raise the invoice to your client? Did your partner white-label their solutions?
- Determine the payment process. Is it necessary in order to raise the purchase? Is there a retainer model? What’s the particular frequency associated with payment?
- Choose the documentation you need when your partner executes a project designed for your customer.
- Draw up a contract defining the terms of function, fees, number of hours, and some other details that cover since many of the above points as possible.
- Establish a nondisclosure agreement with your partner.
Purchase marketing and sales
Many MSPs think they’re not really good from sales plus marketing and choose to ignore it. This is inadvisable. You may offer the best IT help, but no one will know if a person don’t get the word away. While word-of-mouth marketing is indeed effective, you could soon find growth plateauing or still reversing. Trading in marketing and sales is essential.
How to get began with marketing
Sales plus marketing may seem daunting for MSP business owners with solid technical backgrounds. While outsourcing your marketing is an option, you shouldn’t completely sit this out there.
You know best about what you offer, how you assistance clients, and what you bring to the table. You just need in order to package this particular into messaging that convinces prospects, especially in the early days of your MSP business.
In case you companion with the marketing consultant, work closely with them to determine your strategy. What kind of companies are a person targeting? Which regions do you want to focus upon? Which providers pique the interest of the prospective customers? You are greatest placed to answer these types of questions, not your advertising consultant.
One of the most important advertising sales channels is your own website. A person need in order to have a website that clearly communicates your services and articulates your own messaging towards the target audience.
Another marketing and advertising channel that’s proven to be successful for MSPs is referral marketing. This particular is word-of-mouth weaponized, so to speak. Give your existing customers the correct incentive – it could be as simple as a discount or even thank you note – and you can see the impact of goodwill compounding in the form of clients signing up.
Marketing consultants can help you along with search motor optimization (SEO) , online and offline listings, and additional internet marketing initiatives. However , a person have to monitor the particular performance of your marketing campaigns. Otherwise, the expenses can mount silently.
What about product sales?
Sales, however , is a different beast. Picking up that phone to make a cold call or trying in order to send out an email to a prospective client you barely know might be anxiety-inducing, but these tasks can be learned and mastered.
Sales training programs in almost all regions are available; some are usually MSP-focused. This kind of training can help you get going.
As an MSP owner, you need to be the salesperson-in-chief. In fact , MSP business owners who have scaled their own firms beyond the $1 million income mark say that their businesses grew when they moved away from being a technician plus focused primarily on sales and advertising.
Eventually, you’ll need to have got a sales team, even if that comprises just the couple associated with salespeople. Hiring the right people is key.
But don’t forget that will seeing can be believing even today when it comes to sales and marketing. Participating in events where many prospective clients congregate is a good method to interact with them plus get that sales flywheel spinning.
When it comes to sales and marketing, remember that you should commit to only what you can easily offer, plus nothing works better than the particular work a person know and love.
Develop your adaptability muscle
MSPs and IT support partners are entrenched in the current business scenery. If MSPs can keep upward with the changing needs and trajectories, they will capture customer interest.
MSPs require to develop their versatility muscle plus strengthen their particular business operations. They have to make sure the public knows they can thrive in changing consumer needs.
MSPs must invest in the particular right technology to assist run their operations smoothly, build processes that may scale in the future, proactively acquire the skills that companies need, and focus on exemplary service, so they’re never afraid of the future.
It’s the brave brand new world out there. MSPs that are prepared will find that this world is usually theirs just for the taking.
Information security is with the heart of MSPs plus should be at yours too. Learn more about how info security helps keep your information secure through unauthorized access and prevents data breaches.