Why—and How—Managed Service Providers Need to Evolve

As a managed service provider, you can never sit still. Change is constant, whether it’s the technology, business needs, or clients’ expectations. 

And while MSPs are accustomed to the churn, this time it’s different. Businesses are digitizing their assets and moving to the cloud, governments continue to layer on more data regulations, security threats are on the rise, and the pandemic has turned traditional office culture on its head. This means a lot of changes and challenges, but it also presents opportunities.

Know Your Clients’ Risks

Cybersecurity is in the spotlight like never before. That’s not to say people didn’t care previously, but it was often an underfunded afterthought for many companies. Today, with a spike in ransomware and other high profile cyberattacks, businesses no longer have that luxury.

Knowing the threats is one thing; delivering on risk management and mitigation is another. This is where MSPs come in. You can help clients conduct risk analysis, monitor for compliance, integrate data loss prevention tools and implement permission management systems

This is critical in highly regulated industries, like life sciences, but all businesses have to be mindful of data governance today, amid growing personal data regulations like GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.

Assist with Modernization

Organizations with armies of engineers can potentially make the move to the cloud alone, but for everyone else, MSPs and other third-parties are essential.

Businesses don’t truly benefit from a move to the cloud unless they’re willing to modernize their practices, too. You can analyze clients’ goals, capabilities, and obstacles, then show how the cloud can save time and money when it’s implemented properly.

You can also use this transition as a means to add higher-level services, such as consulting on cloud architecture, building roadmaps, performing needs assessments, conducting compliance audits, adding security tools, and pilot testing in the new environments.

Meet Employees Where They Are

The hybrid workplace—some mix of in-person and at-home work—is here for the foreseeable future. Many businesses had to plunge headfirst into this reality at the outset of the pandemic without much forethought, which means there’s plenty of room for improvement.

Content governance is one of the biggest areas of concern in a hybrid workplace. Many of the protections afforded by office networks aren’t available at home, so businesses need support so employees can continue to collaborate safely. Help your clients gain visibility into their digital assets, identify sensitive data, enforce rules and set retention policies. 

Become a Trusted Partner

As an MSP, you have your work cut out for you if you want to stay up to date amid so much change, but you’ll be rewarded with more and better business if you do. 

To start, it’s essential that you’re perceived as experts by your clients. This means tracking the industry and knowing about the latest trends and how they can help—or hinder—clients. You need to identify tools that can be integrated into your offerings. Consider niche offerings to help stand out, and communicate all of this to your clients to show how it impacts their bottom lines. 

Yes, it’s a lot to do, but it’s the cost of competing as an MSP today. And if you’re successful, you’ll be seen as an indispensable partner in a time of uncertainty.

To find out more about what MSPs can do to adapt with the times, check out our eBook, "The Modern IT Playbook for Managed Service Providers."

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