“Innovate or get left behind” is a basic rule of business. In the fast-paced world of IT, this is even more essential. We don’t live in the same world that we used to; the events of 2020 and so on have propelled us into a new era of remote and hybrid work, presenting new challenges for business leaders.
As we settle into new workflows, processes, and routines, it’s become evident that IT infrastructure and security management aren’t enough anymore.
For businesses to truly innovate and thrive, they need IT services that optimize and enhance how the organization operates both overall and on an individual level. This makes finding the right managed service provider (MSP) a crucial investment for future success.
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What Are Managed Services?
Managed service providers help organizations run more efficiently by managing and optimizing all or part of their IT systems, so they can be more efficient and productive. Historically, this has involved IT infrastructure setup, management and maintenance, IT system security, and cloud management services.
The COVID-19 pandemic initiated a seismic shift in how companies operate and what services they need most.
By outsourcing these functions to an experienced MSP, businesses and IT departments can focus on the core of their business without having to worry about their systems not working properly.
Delegating these aspects of IT externally frees up businesses that are chronically understaffed and short on time, so they can focus their internal staff on important tasks that will move the needle. It also empowers otherwise functional businesses to go beyond their status quo and thrive.
While managed services have been evolving throughout their history, the COVID-19 pandemic initiated a seismic shift in how companies operate and what services they need most. The focus moved rapidly from primarily infrastructure and security to remote work setups, and the tools that make it possible for employees to do their jobs effectively from anywhere.
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MSP Industry Trends for 2022
Nearly two years on, it’s evident that work will never go back to the way it was. Many companies have adopted more flexible remote or hybrid work policies as permanent features in their company culture.
With systems in place to keep things running in this new environment, the next step is to optimize these systems and ensure that employees have everything they need to feel supported and continue driving innovation.
Managed services 2.0 will lay a foundation to enable a hybrid or remote workforce to work productively.
Once again, MSPs are evolving to meet this need. Managed services will continue to include IT infrastructure and security services. But they are also expanding to provide businesses with innovative tools that will help them monitor productivity, support their staff, and measure impact more effectively than they’ve been able to do so in the past.
The best technology in the world can only go so far — it’s the people behind it that keep a company thriving. That’s why, as we head into the new year, we’re likely to see a more people-centric approach to managed services.
Managed services 2.0 will lay a foundation to enable a hybrid or remote workforce to work productively. MSPs must ensure that all systems are secure in order to proactively prevent any potential security issues from arising while working with a dispersed team. And they will measure performance and impact in order to provide analytical insight into areas that can be optimized and improved upon.
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What to Look for in a Managed Services Provider
As the new era of managed services continues to develop, the number of MSPs will likely also continue to grow. With so many providers and services to choose from, it can be overwhelming to figure out exactly what you need.
However, to really get a return on your investment in managed services, it’s essential that you work with the best provider for your business.
Select a Managed Services Partner
Keep in mind that while you are searching for a managed service provider, you should be seeking a managed service partner. Not all MSPs are created equal, and you will see the best return with a supportive partner that is accessible and strategic.
Every business is different, so it’s important that your chosen MSP is able to offer solutions that fit your particular needs. It must also have demonstrable experience in your industry, or with companies that are working toward similar business goals and milestones.
Ask About Expertise
With experience also comes expertise. Don’t forget to ask about a MSP’s advanced certifications and specialties to ensure they have the expertise for the specific programs and software you want to implement.
Working with an innovative managed service provider will ensure the services they provide evolve to meet your needs.
Don’t Forget About Innovation
While it’s important to work with an experienced MSP, it’s also important to find a managed services partner that’s as innovative as your company is — or hopes to be. The IT industry moves fast, and the past couple of years have taught us to expect the unexpected.
Working with an innovative managed service provider that is one step ahead of the curve will ensure the services they provide continue to evolve to meet your needs. This can help you stay ahead of the competition by providing comprehensive tools and services that will allow your team to focus on what matters most for your business.
The Right MSP Is an Asset
Approximately 90% of SMBs working with MSPs agree that they have had a positive impact on their business. Understanding the parameters for evaluating the right MSP is the common thread of those who maximize this positive impact.