MSPs: why it’s more important now than ever, to be adaptable

As we explored in our last post, the pandemic has proven to be a mixed bag of tribulation and opportunity for MSPs. While the outlooks for enterprise IT spending remain solid, most MSPs are small businesses serving primarily the SMB market and this exposes them to continued risk.

Joe Panettieri at CHANNELe2e recently wrote that “MSPs that successfully transitioned to faster-growth opportunities — such as public cloud managed services — have helped customers to accelerate workload migrations to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Good Cloud Platform (GCP) during the pandemic.”

This of course supports are view of the world. To survive and thrive, MSPs must consider how they can expand their service offerings. The cloud is the future for reasons of flexibility, scalability and cost-efficiency. The pandemic has led many to become much more bullish about the cloud than they may have been back in the first quarter of year.

LogicMonitor recently released its Cloud 2025 study. This report polled 500 global IT decision makers in May-June in North America, the U.K., New Zealand and Australia. Some 87 per cent of agreed that the pandemic will cause organizations to accelerate their migration to the cloud.

About three quarters of respondents believe that, within the next five years, 95 per cent of all workloads will be in the cloud and will remain evenly split between private and public clouds.

That public/private split only makes sense from our perspective. Organizations differ in terms of their operating model, size and global reach. These factors make it impractical for the public cloud to be an all-or-nothing answer. A hybrid approach, on the other hand, which makes judicious use of both private and public cloud resources, provides the flexibility which organizations need.

Despite COVID-19, or in fact because of it, the number of hyperscale data centers continued to grow right through the first half of this year, according to new research from Synergy Research Group. The capacity is there for MSPs to exploit “new sales and support opportunities delivering data center, cloud services and capacity to end-user customers.”

As Panettieri concludes in his article, “MSPs remain the most qualified organizations to deliver and manage software and related IT services on behalf of vendors to small businesses.”

This creates the perfect opportunity for MSPs to diversify and grow with managed cloud services. But they must do more than just provision cloud resources. The key to delivering true value is having the tools that will help customers get the strongest return on their investment by ensuring their cloud use is as cost-effective and efficient as possible.

The challenge, of course, is that MSPs must be equipped to deliver despite the challenges they continue to face:

  • Time constraints
  • HR constraints – finding qualified tech people
  • Cybersecurity, particularly now, with the surge of remote working
  • Customer churn, particularly now, as SMB customers flounder
  • Fears of another lockdown

The first two – time and HR constraints – are often aggravated by the fact that many MSPs continue to operate with manual, error-prone processes for metering and billing service usage by clients. They have no automation tools to simplify and accelerate the provisioning of new services.

The consequences:

  • Money left on the table – inaccurate billing
  • Senior tech people wasting tens of hours every month compiling usage data for billing, time that should be spent on billable work
  • Poor scalability – the business lacks the capacity to expand its service offerings
  • Poor adaptability – if we have learned one thing so far in this pandemic, it’s that adaptability is crucial to business survival.

If these are issues that you face and you are ready to take action, let’s talk!

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