Managed service providers are certainly earning their keep in today’s IT-driven landscape. From the healthcare arena to the government sector, the services they deliver position organizations to enjoy superior levels of availability, security, and reliability alongside a host of other benefits. It really is a deal of mutual perks because while the client offloads its IT burdens on a third-party better equipped to handle them, the vendor benefits from the increased awareness, repeat business and revenues that come with doing an admirable job.
MSPs provide solutions that are designed to support both existing and evolving needs, but the more a business grows, the more complexity it introduces for the vendor. Ensuring compatibility with a broad range of computing devices, maintaining a competitive edge and staying profitable are among the challenges service providers face in the dynamic, fast growing IT environment. Following are three ways MSPs can adapt to the changes while keeping their service level agreements at the highest level of satisfaction.
1. Know Where You’re At and Anticipate What’s Ahead
A managed service provider must be fully aware of the capabilities in its infrastructure. This infrastructure and its technology essentially comprise the unique selling proposition that will compel clients to choose your services over the competition. Whether it’s cloud storage or server consolidation, these solutions are most compelling when they are designed around the specific needs of your audience.
A thorough evaluation of existing infrastructure components and audience needs is critical for an MSP. The insights gained here go a long way in developing the features and services that will support the demands of your clients as their IT requirements grow. In fact, those insights can help your company stay a step ahead of the demands and enjoy positive growth as well.
2. Supersize Your Value
One of the most underrated challenges faced by vendors in the game of managed solutions is providing a service clients consistently find valuable. In many cases, overcoming this burden is merely a matter of sticking to your guns. No matter what the market throws your way, you must stand by your platform and the core values it was built upon. With all the time you’ve invested into building your infrastructure, anything else really is counterproductive at this point.
As trivial as it sounds, showcasing that value isn’t as simple as shouting “we’ve got the goods!”. Once you have defined your offerings, take the time to educate potential clients on what makes you stand out from the service providers in the increasingly crowded marketplace. Learn how to convey the benefits of your solutions, how they’ve helped past clients, and more importantly, how they can benefit prospects currently evaluating them. Do this in crystal clear fashion and you can effectively convince potential customers that what you are selling is in fact a great value.
3. Keep It Moving
The final challenge I want to cover relates to changes beyond the growth of your clients. What I’m referring to here is the evolution of technology itself. Adapting to the rapid evolution of the IT landscape can be difficult for the MSP that has taken the aforementioned advice of standing by its core values. It is a very fine line, but one you must walk with the balance of a seasoned tightrope trotter if you’re going to maintain the value that continually accommodates the ongoing needs of your clients.
So what do you do? Roll out timely updates and improvements that enhance the effectiveness of your existing solutions. Develop new services that address the growing needs of your customers. Stay in evaluation mode to determine which trends are smoke and mirrors and which are worthy of incorporating into your offerings. When you find something that fits, procure your technology from reputable service providers that will enable you to supply your client base with the most secure, efficient and reliable additions.
According to a study by Insight Research Corp., managed services will touch $47 billion in revenue by 2015. That projection is no doubt encouraging news for the market. With that said, individual managed service providers that want to enjoy a small, yet prosperous piece of that pie must develop a solid base for customers to build on and carve out a path that enables both parties to grow.