In most areas of business, there are established paradigms and it usually pays to adopt these, even when it comes to MSP technology. After all, running a successful business is hard enough without squandering resources on unnecessarily reinventing the wheel.
However, technologies and their applications are changing so rapidly today that MSPs cannot afford to risk being stuck in an old model. Even being fast and flexible, with the ability to react quickly to developments, is no longer sufficient.
No, the MSP that wants to remain relevant tomorrow must today adopt a truly proactive approach that allows it to see not just the forces changing its industry next year, but also identify and prepare for developments several years into the future.
Adopt a Proactive Mentality, Form Proactive Teams
By taking a proactive approach to your IT, you can identify opportunities to implement new technologies and approaches. These will not only strengthen your own operations, but they will also help to inform you where the technologies are heading, in effect helping you to see into the future.
So, how to engage in proactive IT? Perhaps the easiest way to shape your proactive approach to IT is to define and identify your reactive processes or resources. Reactive processes and resources are those that are not prepared for problems or changes. Find the resources in your organisation that are failing to see problems coming and you will likely have found some reactive resources. These resources will typically be characterised by planning failures, a lack of access to relevant data, and an inability to manage their assets and resources.
When implementing proactive IT, aim first for the easy wins or “low-hanging fruit.” Identify where the staff is repeatedly dealing with the same kinds of tasks, the handling of which can either be automated so the staff no longer have to handle them directly or mitigated through suitable alterations to systems or processes.
Is Lack of Data Your Problem?
Finding it hard to identify your reactive resources? That is a strong indicator that your ‘easy win’ will be the implementation of an effective system for collecting, analysing, and reporting the relevant data.
Collection and reporting of data is a key component of most remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools. However, you may find the monitoring functionality of your RMM to be lacking. If so, a dedicated monitoring solution may be needed. In both cases, scripting can be used to provide powerful functionality, automating at least the monitoring and reporting and, in the right scenarios, the response to data collected.
Your help desk system should be a rich source of data providing for actionable strategies when it comes to implementing proactive IT. If it isn’t already, configure or script the system to help you identify where the help desk and resources allocated/managed through the help desk are repeatedly being used for the same tasks.
Data and Automation Will Divine Your Future
The process of identifying and addressing the reactive resources in your MSP will, by its very nature, help you to see where MSP technology is headed. By defining reactive processes and implementing scripting to automate their handling, you start to form a picture of the state of your technology. Where you encounter tasks that cannot be automated with existing technology, opportunities to seek and develop new generations of technology arise.
Once you have begun to implement proactive IT by tackling the low-hanging fruit, the implementation can be expanded to encompass data collection, reporting, and automation systems that are more scalable. This allows for more power and flexibility in terms of staffing location and head count. Teams of fewer people can do more and do so more easily using remote tools.
As the approach outlined above is contingent on the definition and aggregation of relevant data, it provides you with a much easier way to identify trends in your organisation and systems. Ensure your MSP takes a proactive approach to IT and you will be rewarded with a much clearer view of the future of MSP technology.