MSPs: How a Cloud Management Platform Can Offset IT Labor Issues

The writing is on the wall.

Or, more aptly, the numbers are.

The U.K.’s Office of National Statistics reported late last year that the number of unfilled positions in that country’s ITC sector had increased by 24.3 per cent in the past 12 months.

Last August, America’s National Association of Manufacturing with Deloitte released a report that found the U.S. will have to fill 3.5 million STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs by 2025. The authors forecast that more than 2 million will remain unfilled because of a lack of highly skilled candidates in demand.

Here’s a more recent story about the rising popularity among startups and tech companies to use apprenticeship training since they can’t find the skilled workers they need.

The labour issue is complex. It’s not so simple as a lack of numbers of people, but a lack of people with the right technical skills and work ethic. As AI, blockchain and data analytics make enterprises across many verticals weigh the pros and cons of digital transformation, they must also consider from where they will source the talent to execute.

Last month, IT infrastructure management software vendor SolarWinds released its annual IT Trends Report 2019: Skills for Tech Pros of Tomorrow. About 75 per cent of the IT professionals surveyed said they need to develop new skills to confidently manage their environments by 2024, but over 80 per cent of them lack the time or budget for the necessary training.

MSPs are of course not immune to these pressures. If you operate a small to mid-sized MSP, the challenge to find qualified people is likely already causing you to lose sleep. But the different between your business and that of your enterprise clients is that IT services is your core business, not theirs.

If enterprises can’t find the skillsets they need for their internal IT departments, they are going to outsource. They will look to the cloud. Technology partners, like you, will be approached for advice and options and how best to proceed, to ensure the enterprise’s cloud investment is optimized and aligned with critical business goals.

That means the first investment you need to make is not in people, but in the processes which you use to manage service provisioning, usage monitoring and billing. This will free up your top talent to dedicate more of their time where it should be – creating value for your clients. Don’t allow your best people to waste their billable time struggling with an outdated model for service configuration and orchestration, or having to assist your accounting department with manually compiling usage data to bill clients.

There is an additional benefit that indirectly addresses one key area of the IT talent shortage – cybersecurity. By employing a platform that simplifies, standardizes and automates configuration and orchestration of cloud services, an MSP by default will mitigate, if not eliminate, common issues that increase an enterprise’s cybersecurity risk level and create the need for additional cybersecurity resources. How? By reducing the risks of human error and oversight that are common with manual configurations.

Cloud migration is just one more example of how digital transformation is changing how your clients do business. Isn’t it time to transform your business, too?

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