MSP services companies have a lot in common with gunslingers. When a man with a gun finds himself outmatched by black-masked brigands at high noon, he may see the grim reaper’s silhouette marching for him on the horizon. Being outgunned is not a great way to die.
Even if the gunslinger has that “Jackie Chan” flexibility epitomized in fine martial arts films, he will still have to expend exceptional energy “dodging bullets” to get away. Well, your business is the gunslinger, and being “behind the curve” or “behind the eight-ball” in terms of technology is being caught in a gunfight where you do not have the firepower to match your assailants. Avoiding this situation requires being technologically relevant as continuously as possible.
Remaining Technologically Advanced
One thing you want to do to remain relevant is to know where new technologies are being featured and to be there. Tech conventions happen regularly across the world and are worth attending as an MSP. The same gunslinger issue will always persist. That said, following are several popular tech conventions trade journals and IT industry associations worth attending, reading or becoming members of:
IT Industry Associations
Strategies to Keep You Ahead of the Competition
There are a number of reasons that MSP services must remain relevant in the modern marketplace, as outlined earlier. Strategies to help you remain properly relevant include the following:
• Be a quick follower of developments in tech, but have a cushion
• Implement liquidation and acquisition protocols
• Always watch the competition
• Ensure you know the industry backward
• Design an operational strategy incorporating technology awareness
A Quick Follower with a Cushion
You want to have plans for adopting new tech very soon after it becomes available, but do not be too quick. Give yourself a cushion and watch both peers, as well as competition who have adopted the tech you are considering, to see what problems they may or may not encounter. This will help you avoid being undermined by unexpected exigencies.
Liquidation and Acquisition
You need to have certain protocols in place so that when some new technology hits the market, you can snatch it up; and when you need to get rid of some antiquated solution, that is also easy to do. It is better to have these strategies in place beforehand.
Always Watch the Competition
You need to know what your competitors are doing. This is part of the first point: upgrading behind a time cushion. You need to know where they are succeeding, where they are failing, where the overlap is between you and them, and what to do with that information.
Ensure You Know the Industry Backward
As important as it is to understand the technology of the industry, you need to know where it is going and why. Consider federalized education programs requiring in-classroom technology. Grab a few contracts like that and your MSP could be set for a decade. Know what is driving the industry in terms of entertainment, utility, productivity, convenience, safety, and any other categories missed here.
Designing Technology Awareness Strategy
Lastly, you need to know what is coming down the pipeline. There is no way to predict the future, but if you have an operational strategy in place, which follows associations, tech journals, and conventions, you can see what is coming. It is the same if you know how to acquire and liquidate tech before you have to do such a thing. In addition, watching peers and competition provides you a good, tangible, and localized picture of technology in your area. However, take it a step further. Watch tech trends around the world and make that core to your tech awareness strategy.
MSP services companies that have their finger close to the pulse of tech usage and developments are going to remain relevant with more clients for a longer period and could even become a perpetually viable institution like IBM. Getting there will require changing infrastructural operations to incorporate technology-centered forward motion if you have not done this already. Knowledge can be powerful, so know your industry.